Christ-Centered Worship is a great and thorough book from Bryan Chapell.  In it, he gives a balanced and accommodating approach to gospel-centered worship leading.  Additionally, he gives examples galore on how to pull it off.  Mike Cosper recommended this book in his book, Rhythms of Grace.

Favorite Quotes

  1. Liturgy tells a story.  We tell the gospel by the way we worship (19).
  2. The paths of our predecessors can lead us to their discoveries, guide us from their errors, and direct us toward paths we must forge into the future (34).
  3. Luther wanted the worship service to be a participatory experience, in keeping with his understanding of church being a community of faithful people praising God for his salvation (36).
  4. [Speaking of the Reformation] Passive worship, nominal faith, presumed salvation by mere church association, and superstitious reliance on ceremonial observance were the enemies (66).
  5. The gospel necessarily shapes the container that carries it (84).
  6. We cannot honor the gospel and, at the same time, worship in ways that distort it.  This would necessarily be the case if we praised God for his holiness but did not acknowledge our sin, or if we acknowledged our sin but not mention his mercy (100).
  7. Worship is not only for God’s glory, and it is not only for our good (119).
  8. If gospel priorities do not determine worship choices, then people’s preferences will tear the church apart (130).
  9. Expository preaching has a simple goal: to say what God says (234).
  10. The most important strategy for church leaders to pursue in uniting the church in worship is clear and regular articulation of gospel principles (297).

Book Overview

The church’s worship has always been shaped by its understanding of the gospel. Here the bestselling author of Christ-Centered Preaching brings biblical and historical perspective to discussions about worship, demonstrating that the gospel has shaped key worship traditions and should shape today’s worship as well.

This accessible and engaging book provides the church with a Christ-centered understanding of worship to help it transcend the traditional/contemporary worship debate and unite in ministry and mission priorities. Contemporary believers will learn how to shape their worship based on Christ’s ministry to and through them. The book’s insights and practical resources for worship planning will be useful to pastors, worship leaders, worship planning committees, missionaries, and worship and ministry students.

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.