Author: Bob Sorge
Publisher: GCEE BRUNO CONCEPT LIMITED, Lagos, Nigeria.
Reviewer: PHILIPA ORAEGBU
God seeketh worshipers not worship. Why then do I need to worship if he seeks it not?
Bob Sorge, an ardent writer of thought provoking practical books, ignites hearts yet again with this piece, Exploring Worship: A Practical Guide to Worship . Bob, a former music director, expresses his belief and desire to see leaders and worshipers equipped in the spiritual and practical aspects of worship. His writing is not just theoretical; it retells real life experiences and contains bible references. With these, he is able to show the importance of spiritual sensitivity in the art and act of worship emphasizing the place of the Holy spirit and a worshiper’s ability to discern.
“Worship”, though a common term in the faith and commonly regarded as just the act of singing slow songs, is beautifully exposited in this book. Exploring Worship clarifies the diverse misconceptions of the term while expounding its simplicity, essence and exclusivity.
The book is divided into two sections: The Heart of Praise and Worship, and The Leading of Praise and Worship. The first section of the book comprises 7 chapters and dwells on worship and praise as expressions unto God, while the latter has 3 chapters and relates the practical aspect of worship.
The first chapter discusses praise and its distinctive extroverted nature. Its essence, and how it’s perfunctory on will and not emotion. Bob proceeds to explain when, where and how one should praise. Praise, being extroverted expression, is done in varying ways. Some of these are common; others are not very widely practised.
The second chapter addresses our approach to God’s presence: an individual approach and congregational approach. Worship as a Christian communal experience is described as an excercise which requires both on the worship leader and worshippers to bring to life. The author makes it clear that there are sacrifices to be made by all involved, in order to actualize worship.
Chapter three emphasizes the use of praise as a weapon of spiritual warfare. The scriptural basis of its use is not without explanation, likewise the exposition on the use of the forms of expression of praise as spiritual weaponry.
Chapter four explores the term ‘worship’, its distinction from praise, its essence, and how the Holy Spirit is an integral part of worship. Worship as revealed is not bound by time or place but rather is dependent on “spirit” and truth.
Who really are worshipers? How does one become a worshiper? What does it mean to worship without guilt and what are the attitudes that could hinder an acceptable worship? These questions are answered in detail in the fifth chapter of the book.
Worship has three aspects to itself as written by Bob, the vertical aspect where the worshipes communicates with the Lord; the horizontal aspect, in which the worshiper communicates with the congregation; and the inward aspect of worshiper’s internal communication. All of these are found in chapter six.
Chapter seven talks about the link between prophecy and music, the difference between psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, and how they should be incorporated into today’s congregational worship. There’s also some discussion about walking in prophetic worship by faith.
Chapter eight delves into the art of leading worship. The author wants us to understand that proper worship leadership is learned. Worship leaders don’t just spring up; they grow by learning. Further explained are the qualifications a leader should possess: musical expertise which is of great necessity; the leaders preparation both musically and spiritually; and the leaders leading– and not controlling -worship.
Chapter nine exposits the importance of a worship leading team in a church, the role of the pastor and worship leader in congregational worship, the various members of the worship leading team and their place in the church.
And finally, chapter ten makes known the need for planning worship services, the need for sensitivity, preparation and balance as regards worship services, creativity in providing good variety in worship services, and practical steps to writing songs and teaching new songs.
If you are desiring insight into the world of worship, the art of worship and leading worship, you will find this book useful. It demonstrates, among other things, that worship is not about the subject (worshiper) but the object (God) . And this, in the end, is the key message we all need to internalize.