Park, Andy; To Know You More; Cultivating The Heart of the Worship Leader. Intervarsity Press, Downer’s Grove, Ill. 2002; pp.272 price 27.95 Available at the Leadership Centre, 1-800-804-077.
Andy Park, Worship leader for twenty seven years in Vineyard churches and other events such as conferences and seminars. Presently, worship leader at Langley Vineyard.
SECTION ONE . My Story: Walking in Worship.
Ch. 1. Diving Into Worship Ministry.
Becoming or being a worship leader arises out of a relationship with God. Andy tells his own story of becoming a worship leader and the challenges that would and often do prevent the process of maturation and powerful ministry.
Ch.2. The Door to Intimacy- Repentance.
"Real worship reveals God’s holiness, and in the presence of this holiness we bow down."p.32. Some prerequisites for intimacy are humility, vulnerability, integrity, honesty and obedience. God’s response to these is unconditional love.
Ch.3. The Fruit of Intimacy- The Father’s Love.
It is very important that we have a correct theological understanding of who God is. This understanding is often impacted negatively by our human relationships. e.g. fathers and father figures. This usually requires a healing process. Knowing God and experiencing His love gives freedom to a worship leader.
Ch.4. The Lifestyle Produces The Language.
Our songs and our lifestyle must be consistent. Biblical leaders model worship (leaders). e.g. Moses, David. Worship often arises out of trials and hard times. Worship language without corresponding lifestyle is unacceptable to God.
SECTION TWO. The Big Picture: Leading Within a Church Community.
Ch.5. The Ministries of Priest; Prophecy and Healing.
In the New Testament we have teaching on the essence of worship but not the ‘how-tos’. Worship leaders can "invoke the presence of God on behalf of the people".p.68. Worship is a part of a spiritual struggle and spiritual warfare. Spiritual and physical healing are not uncommon as a part of worship. Music has its own power. Prophecy in worship is not linked to the Old Testament.
Ch. 6. The Ministries of Teaching and Evangelism.
Worship (singing) is a powerful medium for teaching truth, the truth about Jesus. Worship evangelism is becoming more prevalent, worship not just in the sanctuary but out in the community. "We teach, prophecy and evangelize through the lyrics of songs."p.96.
Ch.7. The Worship Team. Servants and Friends.
A worship team is "a group of friends who mutually serve one another".p.97. To qualify as a team member a person needs musical skills but more importantly spiritual prerequisites. Public auditions are a recommended way to select team members musically. Close relationships are formed in team ministry so there must be great diligence practiced in guarding against potential moral problems. In choice of music and style respect church tradition.
Ch.8. Working Together. Worship Leader and Pastor.
There must be mutual respect. There needs to be compatability in values, priorities and practices in worship. The chapter deals with some very relevant challenges that face a pastor/worship leader team.
Ch.9. The Ups and Downs of Worship Leading.
"Worship leading can be an emotional roller coaster."p.137. The temperaments of worship leaders (musicians, artists) probably is part of the reason for such experiences. As in other areas of ministry we need to accept the presence and impact of spiritual warfare in leading worship.
Ch.10. Encouraging Expression in Worship.
"The fountain of worship rises out of a pool of believers who are experiencing and responding to God."p.146. God cannot be manipulated. Congregational response has to do with teaching and leadership. Levels of emotional response will always be quite varied in any given service. The level of emotion is not an indicator of the level of worship. The focus must be on God not the experience.
SECTION 3. Doing It; The Practical Duties of the Worship Leader.
Ch.11. Preparing a Worship Set.
Effective leadership in worship does involve gifting and anointing. A good repertoire of songs will include a variety. Memorized words, e.g. liturgy, are good. Some of the characteristics of great songs are discussed. Various suggestions are made regarding the ‘curve’ a worship set.
Ch.12. Delivering a Worship Set.
Worship leaders should always feel a dependence on God. This will sometimes result in a"spontaneous moving of the Holy Spirit".p.173. Allow people ‘space’ in their own response in worship. Encourage and lead. Spontaneous singing is encouraged. A few things are said about post-worship emotions and how to deal with them.
Ch.13. Leading a Worship Team. Rehearsal and Presentation.
Gifted leaders will learn from various sources. Some basic music theory is essential. Experimentation is legitimate. A case is made for preparation and flow. There is no substitute for practice. Rehearsal is done best in an enjoyable environment. Some common mistakes in leading rehearsals are identified and discussed.
Ch. 14. Developing Worship Leaders.
Most worship leaders are trained by worship leaders. Training is a combination of mentoring and discipling. Basic leadership gifts are necessary in potential worship leaders. Specific mentoring is discussed. Like in any other leadership, worship leaders must be open to change.
Ch.15. The Gift and Craft of Songwriting.
Writing has to be a passion. The writer shares his own experience in writing. Inspiration is often the source for writing. Numerous stories are shared of songwriting experiences. Songwriting is a discipline. It is also a disciplined craft.
Appendix I The Birth of a Worship Movement.
Andy describes the Vineyard movement as it relates to worship. The influence of John Wimber was very significant.
Andy has given us a very interesting read on worship based on his own personal experiences. These experiences were within the Vineyard environment and some general conferences and seminars. His teaching is transferable. This a book of encouragement for worship leaders and a book of instruction for would be leaders.