Greetings WTR peps!

At my church we are currently working on the development of our theology of worship.  In other words we are seeking to flesh out on paper what we believe the Bible has to tell us about the practice of worship.  For those of you who have already worked through this process I would love to see your work... That is if you don't mind sharing it.  It would be helpful to us to see what others have developed.


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Can you also share what you guys have come up with along the way?

Will do...

LURK alert :-)

I'm getting out my bible, some popcorn and a notebook! 

Good stuff!  Looking forward to this thread!


Here's a list of my study resources...



Papers and blog articles:

Defining Worship by Bob Kauflin

This is the difinitive artical on defining worship...  In this article Bob brings together various definitions of worship from numerous authros and offers his thoughts on each.  This is a great starting point for anyone seeking to define worship.

 Heathy Tensions In Worship by Bob Kauflin

In this article Bob provides an introduction to his concept of "Healthy Tensions". Healthy Tensions are the proverbial two side coins of worship...  Is worship for the head or the heart?  Is worship vertical or horizontal?  Bob defines Healthy Tensions as "aspects of Biblical worship that seem opposed with one another or are in tension with each other but both make up worship and both are important to consider if we want to lead worship in a way that reflects Biblical values and proportions.”  If you're interested in this concept you should really get Bob's book Worship Matters. He explores the subject in great detail there. Worship Matters should should be required reading for every worship leader. His wise and insightful thoughts would server any worship leader well.

 Sining, In The Body and In The Spirit by Steven R. Guthrie

This is a well written article on the nature of congregational worship.  Through a historical context Guthrie explores the biblical exhortation to sing.  Specifically he focus his attention on singing in the body of the church congregation.

 The Slow Death of Congregational Singing by Michael Raiter

I have a love/hate relationship with this article...  This article has wildly challenged my views on corporate worship but it has also really got under my skin as well.  I agree with Raiter's basic premises that the congregational voice should be the primary element in worship.  I also agree with his conclusion that congregations just aren't singing anymore.  But that's about it.  Two great concepts wrapped up in an article of broad sweeping generalizations and cheep potshots at individual ministries.


Healthy Tentions In Corporate Worship

Healthy Tensions In Corporate Worship-Video 

In this video Bob Kauflin provides an introduction to his concept of Healthy Tensions. Bob defines Healthy Tensions as ”aspects of Biblical worship that seem opposed with one another or are in tension with each other but both make up worship and both are important to consider if we want to lead worship in a way that reflects Biblical values and proportions.”  Healthy Tensions are the proverbial two side coins of worship…  Is worship for the head or the heart?  Is worship vertical or horizontal?  Health Tensions dispel many myths and misconceptions about the subject of corporate worship and ultimately level the playing field.  Often when a new building is built the developers first have to excavate the land and rid it of anomalies to provide a smooth surface which can be built on.  Think of Healthy Tensions as a philosophical excavator clearing the land so we can build a worship ministry that is founded firmly on balanced Scriptural thinking.

Healthy Tensions In Corporate Worship-Message 

In this message form WorshipGod06 Bob Kauflin unfolds his concept of “Healthy Tensions” through a comprehensive presentation.  See Appendix B: Bob Kafulin on Health Tensions for message notes.

Diversity in God-Centered Worship

John Piper delivered this sermon way back in 1995 in preparation for the introduction of Bethlehem Baptist’s new worship philosophy.  He talks about the importance of pursuing diversity in God-centered worship.  While Piper acknowledges the importance of cultural diversity he stresses that it must come under the heading of God-centeredness.  So in other words worship can only be relevant to the extent that it is God-centered.  If worship becomes culturally centered instead of God-centered then it looses focus and fails to fulfill it purpose.  The classic case of “don’t put the cart before the horse.”




Nice! I don't see how I can contribute anything more.

If there's one thing I have come to expect from you it is good thought, good questions, and good criticism.  I expect you to contribute nothing more and nothing less.

Yes, I can certainly contribute in that way. But I have nothing new or original to bring to the table. 

Just listening a bit to Bob's video, I liked his statement - "the wars aren't worship" and "everyone claims to be following the bible". All very true.

But I don't necessarily agree with his "healthy tensions" concept which balance each other out as in his volleyball net example - it sounds like classic Hegelian dialectic and I'm not sure how healthy or biblical that approach is. It pervades our thinking and our society and is the basis for our contentious court system, but I don't think it belongs in the church. 

How's that?

Also, moving from this wealth of information to a two page document that defines the application of this content for my ministry is where the real challenge lays.  Anyone can read a book, watch a video, or read a sermon.


I can't provide you with our church's worship theology as we don't currently have a stated one.  (I keep trying to get one the WL/Pastor to put one out.)  Sorry about that. 

But it looks like you are really on the right track.  Lot's of info from some good sources. 

One aspect I have found to sometimes be an issue in many worship teams is the factor of skill.  Many would say it is not important.  To each his own I suppose.  I beleive that the spirit of our worship is the most important factor - but for those of us called to lead others, it is not the only factor.  God has given me a talent, and wish to give it back to him with interest, and through that growing gift, help others come and worship the King (as opposed to distracting them with poor music.).  A good seminar on this topic is "Why Skill Really Does Matter" by Ken Boer & Pat Sczebel for Sovereign Grace Ministries' "Worship God 06" conference.  You can download it at:  - product A2246-01-51.   The presenters state the case very well. 

It may help you with creating your worship theology - or it may come in handy for your worship team workshops in the future.

Anyway, God bless you & your ministry!


I'm glad to hear that there is someone out there who thinks skill does matter. There must be a baseline, albeit subjective. It would be nice to see someone propose a definition of why and how much - right here in this very forum.

I will leave it to the more expert minds and excellent publications to propose the definition of why and how much skill is necessary, but in my simple view - anything that causes distraction in worship is not good. Lack of skill can cause distraction. The congregation tends not to notice skillful playing, but bad playing/singing is noticeable, therefore distracting.

Eliminating distractions to worship must be high on our list of priorities. (Sorry Daniel if this is off the point of theology in worship.)

Hi Brenda!

Thanks for replying...  It's not off topic at all.  It's well within the scope of our discussion. 


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