Worship Must Do This One Thing – Or We All Just Need To Move On

One of my greatest mentors-from-afar, the late Robert Webber, nails it in this quote. Worship must do this, or we all need to move on. It’s from one book I ask every worship leader I’ve ever met to read.

Image courtesy of Adam Mason Photography.

Drink deep, and read it 3 times until it sinks in the soil of your heart.

“The centrality of Christ to all of history and to the meaning of human existence invites us into Jesus Christ, through whom we read the entire Bible from beginning to end. As pastors of the Word, there is a strong need to soak ourselves in the Triune story of God with its detailed exposition of the central role of Christ in the greatest drama of human history – the drama of God who becomes one of us to rescue the world.

This theme of God’s rescue of us all – not inspirational topics, motivational speakers, or massive therapy sermons – needs to be recovered as the central message of our church.”

-Robert E. Webber, Ancient-Future Worship: Proclaiming and Enacting God’s Narrative (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2008), 121.


Question: Worship leaders, is this the intentional, central message of your worship set, or pastors, of every message you preach?

Resource: The video study, Essentials In Worship History unpacks the ideas in this book for worship leaders, and Robert Webber’s Worshipedia (available at WorshipLibrary.com and at WorshipTraining.com is a gift to us all. Robert wrote this article for me on the Christian Year when I was editor of Inside Worship magazine (Vineyard Worship).


Sheltering Mercy and Endless Grace help us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation. Sheltering Mercy helps the reader pray Psalms 1-75; Endless Grace leads in prayer through Psalms 76-150.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. Each book contains 75 prayers drawn from the Book of Psalms, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning there. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

These artful, poetic, and classic devotional books are a perfect gift, and feature compelling stunning illustrations and hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms. Co-written with Ryan Whitaker Smith, Brazos Publishing.

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