"Plug & Chug" is the way churches have planned worship for years. You start with the same order of worship for every service, plug different hymns and readings into their respective slots, and chug right along. It makes the job of worship planner, usually done by the senior pastor, seem much easier. In a church in which the senior pastor or staff member does everything, worship needs to be cranked out lest it cause burnout. The problem with "plug & chug" is that it leads to "bore & snore." Worship becomes routine, and the encounter with a holy and transcendent God, domesticated. If worship is to become transformative, an offering of everything we are and have to God, then the "by-the-numbers" approach to worship design must find its place in the dustbin of bad ideas. The best way to achieve dynamic, authentic worship is to take its planning out of the hands of isolated individuals or functionary committees, and locate it with groups of people who are convinced that worship is a life-or-death matter. In this groundbreaking work, Cathy Townley demonstrates how worship teams, comprised of diverse groups of clergy and laity, long-time Christians and new believers, core and fringe members, are transforming the practice of Christian worship throughout North America. She shows the reader how worship teams come together around a core passion for the encounter with the Holy, how they channel the chaos of multiple understandings of God into a common experience of worship, and how the worship that comes out of such teams is rapidly becoming the primary way to reach the pre-Christian population of North America. Much more than a how-to approach, this volume offers worship leaders and teams guidance to transform the experience of worship into a life-changing time spent in the presence of God.
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