Designing Worship Together: Models and Strategies for Worship Planning

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Alban Institute, 2004 - Religion - 191 pages
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This book draws on more than two decades of collaborative worship planning by pastor Howard Vanderwell and musician Norma deWaal Malefyt of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, offering thoughtful, field-tested processes and tools for planning, implementing, and evaluating life-enriching weekly worship. The authors enter into the trenches of weekly congregational life with this book, offering helpful insights into the process of how worship services are planned and led. DeWaal Malefyt and Vanderwell's approach to worship arises from the biblical narrative, using the language of the Christian tradition and emphasizing that worship tells the story of God's efforts through history to show us the path to union with God. Designing Worship Together is also deeply connected to the experience of local congregations. DeWaal Malefyt and Vanderwell understand that the way in which God's saving deeds are proclaimed will differ from church to church, from place to place, and from culture to culture and they present a process for designing worship services that is equally applicable in a wide diversity of congregations. Foreword writer Robert Webber writes of Designing Worship Together, "In a day when worship, born out of an antihistorical attitude focuses on the self-what I need, what I want, what I do-it is refreshing to find a book that focuses on God yet is deeply concerned about the people engaged in worship." While many books are available about the theology of worship, worship styles, and issues of music, there are few resources on the value of careful worship planning. DeWaal Malefyt and Vanderwell offer the practical nuts and bolts that worship planners need, but this book is far more than a how-to for worship planners. In addition to describing best practices for worship planners, they clarify the role of vital worship in the life of a healthy congregation; identify the biblical assumptions underlying Christian worship; highlight the importance of teamwork in worship planning; name the issues and barriers worship planners must overcome; and suggest a variety of models for worship planning and evaluation. This invaluable resource also features more than a dozen field-tested tools and a selected bibliography for worship planners to use as they continue to develop their ministries.

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About the author (2004)

Norma deWaal Malefyt is a resource development specialist for congregational song for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. She teaches organ and accompaniment skills for worship at Calvin College. She holds degrees in education and organ performance and has served several congregations as organist and director of music. Howard Vanderwell has served as pastor and senior pastor at four Christian Reformed congregations. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and has completed graduate studies in homiletics and worship. He is currently a resource development specialist for pastoral leadership at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

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