Worship Leaders should be worship readers. Below is my running bibliography of some of the best books on worship I've read...books that have had a profound impact on how I lead, plan, and think about worship (btw, I don't necessarily agree with everything in all of these books). If you haven't done much reading, books with an asterisk (*) next to them indicate great starting places, in my opinion. Also, one of the best books I've read most recently is Christ-Centered Worship, by Bryan Chapell. I wrote a review for those interested:


Here's my list. What's yours?


Best, Harold. Music Through the Eyes of Faith. San Francisco: Harper, 2003.

Best, Harold. Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2003.

*Carson, D. A., ed. Worship by the Book. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002. (esp. chapters 1 and 4)

Clowney, Edmund P. The Church. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1995. (esp. chapter 9)

Chapell, Bryan. Christ-Centered Worship. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2009.

Dawn, Marva J. Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down: A Theology of Worship for the Turn-of-the-Century Culture. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995.

Dawn, Marva J. A Royal “Waste” of Time: The Splendor of Worshiping God and Being Church for the World. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999.

Frame, John M. Worship in Spirit and Truth: A Refreshing Study of the Principles and Practice of Biblical Worship. Philipsburg: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1996.

Myers, Kenneth A. All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes: Christians and Popular Culture. Wheaton: Crossway, 1989.

Nouwen, Henri. With Burning Hearts: A Meditation on the Eucharistic Life. New York: Maryknoll, 1994.

*Old, Hughes Oliphant. Worship: Reformed According to Scripture, rev. ed. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2002.

*Ortlund, Anne. Up With Worship: How To Quit Playing Church, rev. ed. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2001.

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I'd add "Recalling The Hope Of Glory" by Allen Ross to that list.
Ross is a theologian rather than a musician, so it's more of a "theology of worship" type of book.

Also "Singing And Making Music" by Paul S. Jones -- I didn't agree with a number of things he said, but there are some excellent essays in this collection.
Ooh...I've been wanting to read Ross. I'll check out Jones, as well. Thanks!
If you haven't heard of him, Dr. Paul Jones is the music minister at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.
They use only classical music and classical-style hymns in their worship services (I say classical-style because the previous pastor, Dr. James Boice, spent the last year of his life writing hymn texts that Dr. Jones set to music, and he has also composed hymn tunes for Eric Alexander and others).
This church tends to have a pretty poor view of contemporary forms of music as a whole, but his points about striving for excellence while maintaining a firm biblical foundation are well taken.

Also, a number of books on your list have been recommended to me recently (I'm currently a seminary student), and I hope to be able to acquire and read some of them soon -- particularly the Carson book. If it's anywhere near as good as "Exegetical Fallacies" it will be well worth the read...
I sat under Ross for Hebrew 101 at DTS, he's a great guy.
Here's my list:


No, just kidding, this is a great post and I'll be looking some of this material up!
Heart of the Artist by Rory Noland
People in the Presence of God, by Barry Liesch.

Superb overview of different models and paradigms of worship ministry. Keeps the reader from being stuck in one and thinking that everyone else is caught in heresy... :)

Also, it was written before the floodgates of worship chaos were unleashed upon the church, so it's very sensible and balanced in it's perspectives. :)


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