One Step Closer to a Subtitle

Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas for a subtitle for my book. So kind of you.

There were a number that made an impact on me (A Plea to An Emerging Generation of Leaders), some I laughed out loud
at (Worship Matters: Yo Quiero Taco Bell), and others that made me

After reading them all, these are the options I’m considering at the moment:

1. Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God

2. Worship Matters: Biblical Foundations for Leaders

3. Worship Matters: A Practical Theology for Leaders

4. No subtitle

I’d like to get a quick vote from you all as to which one you think an atheological twenty-something worship leader would most likely pick up. I’m aware that a subtitle won’t make or break a book. But I do want to maximize the possibility of someone opening it up and checking it out.

In case you were wondering, the book will be divided into four sections:

What Matters (heart, mind, hands, life)
Your Task (where I unpack a definition of a worship leader)
Healthy Tensions (nine seeming "paradoxes" of biblical worship)
Right Relationships (your church, your team, your pastor, and a chapter to pastors)

I’m not looking for any new ideas for subtitles unless you absolutely don’t like any of the four options I’ve mentioned above. Also, it would help me if you let me know why you prefer one more than the others.

Thanks for helping me with this!

52 Responses to One Step Closer to a Subtitle

  1. matthewsmith July 24, 2007 at 11:14 PM #

    Bob, I like #1 quite a bit, and #4 seems better than #2 or #3.

  2. Dan Tsai July 24, 2007 at 11:45 PM #

    Must say I like #1 the most out of that list

  3. Alex S. Leung July 25, 2007 at 12:09 AM #

    While personally prefer #2 or #3, I think #1 would be most attractive to *atheological* 20something worship leaders.

    I’d go with #1!

    I’m looking forward to this book a lot now, Bob! Hoping you can give bulk discounts, as I plan on buying it for my pastor and worship leaders at my home church!

  4. ScottZ July 25, 2007 at 12:13 AM #

    For me “Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God” is far and away the best option. Reason being: the other two tell me how you are going to get me somewhere, that title (#1 on your list) tells me where you are taking me. If you get me excited about where you are going to take me (on a journey of discovering how to lead others to encounter God’s greatness), I am much more excited about that than picking up another book that goes through the “how-to” of getting there.

    Does that make sense? Hope so. As twenty-something worship leader I am very much looking forward to reading the book!


  5. Joel Harris July 25, 2007 at 12:35 AM #

    I will have to agree with everyone else, and say that while I would personally get more excited about #2 or #3, probably most atheological twenty-something worship leaders would get more excited about #1. #1 seems more “experiential”, although I know where you’re going with it! Then once they pick up the book, you can deliver the biblical foundation and practical theology. Can’t wait for the book to come out!

  6. Pastor Bryan July 25, 2007 at 12:50 AM #

    Hi Bob,

    First of all, thanks for writing this book. Whatever subtitle you settle on, I will definitely purchase it for my (young) worship leader and read through it together with him.

    That being said, I’m all in favor of #1. I think each word in that sentence is packed with meaning and significance. There are plenty of “biblical foundations” and “practical theology” sorts of titles out there. “Leading others to Encounter the Greatness of God” says something profound about what your book means to contribute.

    Them is my two pennies.

  7. Dave Miers July 25, 2007 at 12:55 AM #

    #1 – sounds too mystical… and could easily be mixed up with bad theology about worship leaders taking the congregation into the presence of God (that’s Jesus’ job – he’s done it!)

    #2 – MY FAV. Simple. Clear.

    #3 – Is the term “Practical Theology” always used positively? Not sure I’d go for it.

    #4 – I think subtitles are helpful… but the most important is the title… the title is great.

    I’d go for #2 (or maybe 4)

  8. Pierre Queripel July 25, 2007 at 1:54 AM #

    I would need to give it a bit more thought before recommending number 1. (Perhaps I’d need to read your book first!).

    At this stage #2 is my clear favourite (more appropriate than #3).

  9. william July 25, 2007 at 2:15 AM #

    I do believe you already know where are you leading all the readers with the subtitle.

    I agree with most of the comments.
    I love #2 the best. I believe that’s the right way to lead in worship. #1 would be a good provoking words and most likely to be picked up by others.

  10. Graham Culver July 25, 2007 at 3:13 AM #

    Thinking about the kind of people you want to read the book, #1
    BTW – I’m responding from a British perspective.

  11. mmccarnan July 25, 2007 at 7:42 AM #

    #1 bob! #1!

  12. Kyle July 25, 2007 at 7:54 AM #

    Hi Bob,

    No Subtitle gets my vote.

    “Worship Matters: No Subtitle.”

    But seriously, how do you sum up such a broad, important topic? As someone else has said in a previous post, the title alone has broad meaning, and implications. Personally, I’d be compelled to pick it up based on the title alone.

    Also, I think that having no subtitle opens up the audience. Yes, the book is primarily for worship leaders, but my guess is that the entire church would benefit from what this book has to say, and putting a subtitle that narrows the audience could be counterproductive. I recommend your blog to worship leaders, and worshippers alike, and I’d most likely do the same for your book.

    How cool would it be if there were more churches where congregations (and worship leaders) understood what the role of worship, and worship leaders truly are. How amazing would it be if the church would see through new eyes how important Biblical worship is, and how intentionality can be a good thing. I think this book can be a tool to that end!

    Thanks for writing it. I’m looking forward to reading it.


  13. Ramona Doyle July 25, 2007 at 8:08 AM #

    I think #1,”Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God” would most reach your target audience because it points toward your goal-helping folks to see and savor the glory of their savior in worship. I think it would inspire those who might never pick up a “theology” or “biblical foundation” type book to read on. And once inside, the biblical truth spoken and applied will deeply impact them.

  14. susan hart July 25, 2007 at 9:11 AM #

    i vote for either #1 or #4–thanks for your diligence to do a good job!

  15. Bryan Deitrich July 25, 2007 at 10:02 AM #


    I was going to comment and then almost didn’t when I read Ramona’s comment above and realized that she has already said better what I was going to say. :) My 2 cents anyway…

    #1 because:
    – Leaves the accent of worship on God.
    – Will appeal to a broad audience, both from a traditional background and a more Pentacostal/Charismatic one.
    – Though I hear the hesitations above about how it could be misinterpreted, it certainly does not need to mean that and I think that it will better attract your target audience.

    Can’t wait to read it!

  16. Ryan July 25, 2007 at 10:27 AM #

    Hi Bob,

    I’d definitely join everyone else in suggesting #1. I’m very excited to see and read the final product. Thanks for putting so much time and effort and prayer into this!

  17. Jonathan Mason July 25, 2007 at 10:34 AM #

    I would vote for #1 above all others. i am a 24 year old music leader and the other ones are not catching me.

    i think its important to remember that many young “worship leaders” have a wrong view of leading in worship. one wrong view is that music is “the” worship and they miss the bigger picture. secondly i think many think, as you have noted in this blog several times, that the worship leader is “ushering people before the throne of God”….

    with that understanding i think a sub-title that might catch someone’s attention would be one that may incorporate and understanding that a young leader aleady has… for example:

    Worship Matters
    1. “How to Lead God’s People Before the Throne”

    (obviously we do not, but we can lead people to see that Christ currently is before the throne and our worship is through Him)


    2. “Equipping the Leader for God-Centered Worship”

    3. “Engaging the Leader in Biblical Worship”

    whatever you choose – i am excited to read the book! the content seems great

  18. Barrett July 25, 2007 at 10:55 AM #

    I think if I had to choose, I’d pick #4 first or #1 second.

    I like Kyle’s comment on #4 and I would heartily agree with him. I also like Scott Z’s comment on #1. I look forward to reading this book!

  19. Trillia July 25, 2007 at 11:03 AM #

    Hey Bob,

    This is great fun! I, like so many others, get more and more excited about the book as you continue to update us and ask for ideas!

    I don’t like number 4. In my opinion just “Worship Matters” might be too vague for the general audience. The many folks who read your blog will get it, but to the others it might need a little explaining. So, I looked through our bookshelf to see what other writers have done and realized that if it weren’t pretty much self explanatory (for example, Romans by Stott) the author included a subtitle. But I also see Kyle’s point.

    I think I might be in the minority here but I like Worship Matters: A Practical Theology for Leaders. From your chapter titles this subtitle sums it up. Your book is not only the study of God and doctrine of worship but also how to apply it practically.

    Hope that helps!

    I’m so thankful that the book is being written. Thank you for your hardwork!


  20. Paul Hayes July 25, 2007 at 11:08 AM #

    #4-no subtitle, then #1 as second choice. Kyle,I do think “Worship Matters: No Subtitle” would be awesome!
    Keep it up Bob, Paul

  21. Dan Warne July 25, 2007 at 11:57 AM #

    I agree with the “too mystical” comment regarding #1. Obviously it’s not mystical in the sense that you mean it, but as a book subtitle it could come across that way.

    You should probably go with #2 or #3, depending on which one describes your content best.

  22. Emily July 25, 2007 at 12:51 PM #

    Hi Bob,

    #1 is by far my favorite. Leading others to encounter the greatness of God is the reason worship matters. It’s what it’s all about. In my mind this subtitle effectively summarizes your goal of reaching a 20 something worship leader, is both theological and practical and is engaging.

    #4 is my second favorite – also as previously mentioned, there is so much wrapped up in just those 2 words that a title alone would suffice.

    Thanks. Seeing the 4 sections of the book makes me even more excited to read it!

  23. Chris Clinch July 25, 2007 at 1:02 PM #

    Dear bob,

    I am a 27 yr old worship leader #4 is the one that I would chose. I think that your title encompasses everything you’d like the sub title to address, I thank God for your obedience!

  24. Katie R. July 25, 2007 at 1:56 PM #

    ^I totally agree with what Ramona just said… I like #1 & for those reasons.^

  25. julieH July 25, 2007 at 2:14 PM #

    #1 or #2 would both be good, I lean a little more towards #1. :-)

  26. Eve July 25, 2007 at 2:30 PM #

    I totally missed how to get onto the blog to send thoughts, wondered, “how did I last write to Bob?” Took a shot at a wrong email address, it boomeranged back, etc. and just stumbled into your happening space here today!!

    But getting back to the current record, I like # 1 but would consider editing it to WM: Encountering the Greatness of God — that way, absolutely anyone would feel free to read it, and worship leaders should certainly feel drawn to read it. While 2 and 3 are fine, and reference book like, if you want it to jump off the shelf a little moreso, to the 20-something, atheological type, I think this is where it’s at. Maybe even the No subtitle; because Worship Matters is such a cool 2 edged title already. But, typically, one puts a little sub liner somewhere. And then it might first be taken to be a collection of your WM articles.
    In any case, enjoy putting the polish on the magnum opus we are all eager to read. And thank you for your labor of love in this area!

    Well, You do have mail from me at your SGM address.
    Sign me as “Missed the Boat”…”No Prize” or “Stuck in yesteryear’s technology.” (Sounds like the end of a Rocky and Bullwinkle Adventure.)

  27. Tim Sweetman July 25, 2007 at 2:49 PM #

    I prefer #1 — really makes me want to pick up the book and read it (which I will do no matter what the subtitle).

  28. Tim July 25, 2007 at 3:06 PM #

    I don’t think what I have to say is going to much more than what everyone else has said but as a 20 something I’ll add my money’s worth.

    I’d go for number 1 for three reasons:

    1) You said atheological. I know when I started out worship leading I wanted to be succesful at making people worship not know the theology behind it. I got to realise that getting the theology right got the worship leading right. Yet still, if the aim of your book is to get people to have that perspective on worship, you want something coming to them where they’re at. I agree that you’ll get a lot wider readership esp. Charismatic and Pentecostal with that title and definitely for younger people.

    2) A theology based title (2 and 3) is more likely to be picked up by a person whose role is more teaching and whilst you may want to hit other audiences, your main audience is worship leaders. The assumption may be wrong (all people should do theology and find it attractive) but hey you can convince them of that in the book not in the subtitle. (Though to be honest, I’m not holier than thou as a twenty something I must admit the first subtitle sounds a lot cooler than the other two and reminds me how great my God is! Anyone can write about practical foundations, only someone who gets worship will centre it around the greatness of God.)

    3) I think there’s little point doing no subtitle. I think adding a subtitle will only add something, it won’t take away anything from not having one. Some people seem to fear you won’t get a wide audience with a subtitle. I doubt that it’ll affect the wideness of your audience, but it’ll probably help get the target audience.

    So all in all, number 1! Anyway all the best, again can’t wait to hear it!

  29. Mike D. July 25, 2007 at 4:54 PM #

    I think #1 is the one.

  30. Kevin S July 25, 2007 at 6:40 PM #

    I’m for #3. Number 1 is a close second, but it might sound a little presumptuous to the 20-something worship leader. Perhaps? Perhaps not. “Practical theology,” though, is simple, inviting, and easy to grasp.

  31. Kevin July 25, 2007 at 8:05 PM #

    Hi Bob,
    The one thing that has drawn me to Sovereign Grace ministries more than anything else is your explicit gospel centered or cross centered theology and practice.
    Like most people I think option #1 would have the widest appeal. However I think it would be more helpful to make the gospel center of your theology explicit.
    My vote for a subtitle would be something like:
    ‘Declaring God’s greatness through gospel-centered praise.’
    Or alternatively (combining it with your first option):
    ‘Encountering God’s greatness through gospel centered praise.’
    A third option (this is more of a mouthful, but subtitles are allowed to be longer than titles!)
    ‘Leading people to encounter God’s greatness through gospel centered praise.’
    Thanks for being humble enough to read the suggestion of a lowly brother like me.
    I’m looking forward to reading the book whatever subtitle you choose. May God use it for His glory.

  32. James Herzog July 26, 2007 at 9:57 AM #

    Hi Bob,

    Speaking as a twenty-something worship leader, I’d say “Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God” is the best of the bunch. I think most of us who follow your blog appreciate the importance of sound theology in corporate worship, but subtitles like #2 or #3 sound too academic.

  33. LIsa July 26, 2007 at 11:38 AM #

    I know we’re not supposed to be suggesting new ideas, Bob, but I like Kevin’s suggestion: “Leading People to Encounter God’s Greatness Through Gospel-Centered Praise.” Thanks for writing this — can’t wait to read it and pass it around! 8^)

  34. Shannon Lewis July 26, 2007 at 1:10 PM #

    I think that #1 & #2 are tied in my book, erm…and FOR your book. Both are excellent choices.

  35. Lara July 26, 2007 at 3:54 PM #

    I like #1 or #4. I think some of the “Gospel-centered praise” suggestions offered here in the comments section are cool too. In my opinion, #2 & #3 seem a little too much like a textbook, and may not appeal to some people who could really benefit from reading the book!

  36. Elisabeth July 26, 2007 at 6:44 PM #

    Speaking from the viewpoint of a younger worship leader, I believe that #1 catches my interest the most.
    An objection to the others is that I wouldn’t be very surprised if half a dozen other books had “Practical Theology” or “Biblical Foundations” in the subtitle, though I certainly can’t say whether that’s true or not.
    That said, I cannot wait to read your book!

  37. M.E. Lukens July 26, 2007 at 10:45 PM #

    Hi Bob,

    I like the title without the subtitle. I will recommend this to our 20 something pastor of worship. Thanks.

  38. jonathan baird July 27, 2007 at 12:38 AM #

    I like #1 the best. But if you are still taking suggestions I was thinking “Unchanging Truth fo a new Generation” or something like that. I liked the emerging generation idea. Can’t wait for the book! Thanks for putting in the time.

  39. Jeremy July 27, 2007 at 11:05 AM #


    #1 seems best from the list.

    I was trying to think of a subtitle that would in a way be perceived as humbly sharing a dependent attitude upon God’s Work…but that probably is too difficult to do in a subtitle.

    “Recognizing our need for God’s perspective and work”

    Something like that…but that isn’t as good as what you have, I’m afraid.

    Thanks for doing this book. I can’t wait to read it.

    Oh, Bob, I’m in a different location now…just moved to Pittsburgh…thought I’d let you know.

  40. jon July 28, 2007 at 5:51 PM #

    Having read a number of these…and also being a twenty something worship leader…I’m sure glad this is your decision to make. Hope that’s helpful. Be warm and well fed.

    Can’t wait for the book, regardless of the subtitle. Thanks for serving us.

  41. Bill Bell July 29, 2007 at 3:08 PM #

    Number one gets my vote as well. As a possible variation to pick up the theme of redemption (following Kevin’s great comments about SGM and its intentional Gospel-centeredness), I was thinking: “Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the God Who Saves.” Just tossing it out there…

  42. Mike July 29, 2007 at 3:23 PM #

    As an “twenty-something worship leader” I would most likely pick up a book on worship that includes some sort of ‘practical’ advice. I’ve come across a lot of theoretical books and articles over the past few years as I’ve been learning about leading worship. But I really crave practical theology, so I’d definitely pick a book off the shelf with sub-title #3.

    Having said that, though, #1 also stands out as an eye-catching sub-title.

    Looking forward to reading the result, whatever it’s called!


  43. BJ Stockman July 30, 2007 at 3:33 PM #

    My opinion: #1 or none.

    Thanks for your God-centered work Mr. Kauflin.

  44. Marshall Stoy July 30, 2007 at 10:10 PM #


    I like “Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God”, but with a tweak, if you’ve not already considered it. “Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of Christ”

    Very excited about this book…for how it’ll impact me personally, but also how it’ll impact the Church at large.

    Grace to you mi hermano,

  45. Sean July 31, 2007 at 10:17 AM #


    Last year I was a 20-something worship pastor, but now no more (30-something now).

    #1 is the best. It sounds very practical and is most interesting for guys like me, that want to grow in theology, but aren’t naturally bent toward deep thinking.

    Undoubtedly you will get deep and personal, but a more practical title will get your foot in the door, IMHO.

    Thanks for who you are. After just hearing about SGM about a year ago, I made a last minute decision to attend Worship God in Gaithersburg. WOW! What an experience. I can’t wait for the next one and plan to take my wife. Keep up the great work, brother!

  46. Scott Hill July 31, 2007 at 3:19 PM #

    Maybe its because I know what you mean when you say “encounter the greatness of God”, but I like #1 the best. The others seem dry. Kind of old school Presbyterianesque.

    How about Worship Matters “a practical guide to understanding worship in our modern context when you are just starting your ministry and don’t have very much theological training”.

    Then it would really be old school Presbyterian.

  47. Pete August 1, 2007 at 9:40 AM #


    For what it’s worth, I tried to look at it from the standpoint of a twenty something worship leader (TSWL) walking down an aisle looking at book titles. It may only be me (and my general cluelessness) but my first thought was that the word “Leaders” in # 2 and #3 could refer to Pastors [in the sense of understanding how Worship fits into the overall meeting] rather than Worship leaders so there could be a subtle ambiguity. Not to be all psycho-marketing (which I know nothing about) but “Worship” and “Leaders” are at opposite ends of the Title/Subtitle in 2 and 3. Whereas, with #1, it is clear that the book is intended for WL’s (including TSWL’s). So, I vote for #1.

    Just my 2 cents.

  48. Ruth Moran August 1, 2007 at 12:19 PM #

    My vote is for #1.

    I’m not coming from the perspective of a 20-something, but from more the environment of old school Presbyterian at a small-town church stuck in the 70s-80s emotional, experiential gospel rut, desperately needing this book!

    Having an English degree (but admittedly having truly majored in extracurricular music and drama activities) I nonetheless looked up “encounter” in the thesaurus and found “stumble upon” as a replacement. I believe what you’re talking about is more intentional than that connotation. Perhaps “Worship Matters: Leading Others to Consider the Greatness of God” might be a viable alternative–and might also alleviate any concerns of the “mystical” as expressed by another reader.

    Personally, I’ll read it (and provide it to others in leadership at my church) with whatever title you choose, but given the other criteria, that’s my suggestion.

  49. Josh August 1, 2007 at 5:20 PM #

    I like the #4 “Worship Matters: No Subtitle” option the best. The atheological 20-something will certainly resonate with the two short, bi-syllabic words, even more so than a lengthy subtitle that might grab them if they can get to the end of it. Your other 3 options are great and well thought-out, but my impression of your target audience leads me to make my selection.

    So when exactly does the voting begin for the cover art?

  50. ron August 3, 2007 at 11:00 PM #

    my vote is NO SUBTITLE.
    It makes you get the double meaning of “Worship Matters”

  51. ANN HSIAO August 6, 2007 at 9:26 PM #

    Hey Mr. Kauflin,
    As a almost 24 year old person who desires to study the theology of worship, I’m so looking forward to this book!

    My suggestion for your subtitles in general is to make it more specific towards worship leaders and not just leaders.

    I also just found your site today, so I wanted to throw in one more subtitle suggestion for you to consider.

    Worship Matters: God’s Word Leading you in Leading Worship


  52. Chrysta August 8, 2007 at 5:28 PM #

    #1 or no subtitle.

  53. Bruhaha August 13, 2007 at 9:09 PM #

    I agree that NO subtitle is snappier, and also maintains the wordplay you’ve been using. I especially wonder if the “Worship (really) MATTERS!” reading — which is your STARTING point (and hence, quite properly, emphasized in your first chapter) will come across clearly if you add the subtitle.

    BUT, if you decide you really need a clarification (which sounds to me rather like the way people ‘title:subtitle’ master’s and doctoral theses!) then something like #1 is the only one that accurately reflects what you intend to do with the book. If you go with one of the others, try somehow to specify that this is addressed to WORSHIP leaders.

    In any case, have you considered creating parallel titles for the four sections? perhaps playing on “matters”? It seems that in each section you are treating one key aspect of doing (and leading) worship that matters, e.g., Part 3 stresses that the fact that BOTH sides of each ‘paradox’ matters, Part 4 stresses that other PEOPLE matter! (a biggie that is so often missed), Part 2 may be ‘LEADING matters’… and you might even be able to call Part 1 “Worship Matters” or some slight variation on that in which you stress that it really does matter (and so we’d better be sure we know what it IS!… that it involves all we are and have). . . I’d sort of like to see a “GOD matters” section somewhere.

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