“Deeply personal, wise, and practical, this book provides trustworthy guidance to all who seek to employ faithful and energized language in worship.”
–Thomas G. Long, Candler School of Theology, Emory University
Words have great significance. They both form and inform us. They convey meaning and shape understanding. They express our highest thoughts and our deepest emotions. But because of their ubiquity, words are easily taken for granted. In Worship Words, part of the Engaging Worship series, English professor Debra Rienstra and pastor/worship leader Ron Rienstra make a careful examination of the role and use of language in the worship practices of the church. Their goal is to help students, pastors, and worship leaders come to a renewed appreciation and understanding of words in worship and to inspire them to use words more intentionally–to the greater glory of God and the greater blessing of God’s people.
The book is scholarly–the result of much field research and theological reflection–but also highly practical. Its topics include dimensions of language, repetition, authenticity, metaphor, tradition, lament, and worship planning. It is ecumenical in scope, demonstrating understanding and appreciation for various branches of the church while addressing important questions that cut across worship styles and theological and ecclesial traditions. Each chapter includes group discussion questions and exercises for evaluating and creating worship service elements.