I’m Writing Another Book

One of my first commitments after finishing my first book, Worship Matters, was never to write another book.

As most authors I’ve spoken to will acknowledge, writing is anything but fun. It takes long hours, a commitment over a lengthy period of time, patience, and a lot of looking at what you’ve just written and saying to yourself, “I wouldn’t even read this.”

But God has a way of changing desires…

About six weeks ago I was talking to Justin Taylor, who works for my publisher, Crossway. Justin has been a most supportive friend, and told me that my first book has been doing well. So…he wondered if I might be interested in writing another.

Miracle of miracles, I’ve actually been warming up to that idea. Worship Matters was aimed at those who participate in leading corporate worship. Why not write a much shorter book that spoke directly to the Christians who walk in to be led every Sunday morning? Perhaps a book that would help them think more biblically about their responsibility as a worshiper of God, regardless of how they were being led. A book that leaders could give to members of their congregation.

Justin then informed me that I was describing the book Crossway thought I was going to write the first time. Oh well.

Two similar books are Louie Giglio’s The Air I Breathe and Vaughan Roberts True Worship. But Louie’s speaks about worship more broadly and Vaughan addresses topics I wouldn’t cover and leaves out some I would.

So, I’m writing another book. I’ve already spoken to Thomas Womack, my editor, who will be helping me formulate the chapters and structure. I thoroughly enjoyed benefiting from his skill, discernment, and graciousness when we were working on Worship Matters.

Here’s where you come in. I’d love to get your help early on in the process.

I want this book to answer specific questions that people might be asking or need to ask. I’m already thinking of chapters like Why Do We Sing?, What Do We Do With Our Bodies?, and What If I Don’t Like My Worship Leader?

What questions do you think I should try to answer?

156 Responses to I’m Writing Another Book

  1. Derek Iannelli-Smith March 2, 2010 at 6:02 PM #

    I know you somewhat address this in the youtube clips, but I would like someone to address men who don’t sing, and stand with thier hands in their pockets. I imagine you would handle that better than I would – wink…

  2. Matt Blick March 2, 2010 at 6:04 PM #

    What If I Don’t Like My Worship Leader?

    I don’t think any of our people are asking that!

    (suddenly we’re all feeling vunerable)

    I think it would be great to cover what is the owrship leader there to do for me and what are they NOT there to do for me.

    I think that cuts to the root of a lot of other issues.

    Also what role does my favourite music have to do with my worship…

  3. Jerry Dodson March 2, 2010 at 6:04 PM #

    What about the division between those who want to hold onto the good theology of the old hymns, and those who think anything written before 1960 should be discarded in favor of choruses. Some modern stuff is great, but a lot of it is simply vapid, repetitive and human-centered. How do we marry good theology to modern music?

  4. Brian Steckler March 2, 2010 at 6:10 PM #

    Why are the drums and electric guitars so loud?

    Why can’t I hear the [insert instrument vocal part I like]?

    Why can’t we do the songs the old way?

    Why can’t we do the old songs?

    Why do we have to stand up/sit down and sing?

    Why does the screen have videos and pictures and not just the words while we’re singing?

  5. Shelly Peacock March 2, 2010 at 6:11 PM #

    I love it! I think you should include notes in the “bodies” section about not being embarrassed about worshiping joyfully.
    I always have felt weird holding up my arms, having been trained to sit or stand, do not clap, etc.
    Maybe a chapter on “Untraining your taught inhibitions”?

  6. Jon Elliff March 2, 2010 at 6:11 PM #

    What do we do if our worship leader tries to mimic Bob Kauflin? Church discipline? :) Look forward to reading it!

  7. Mark Peiffer March 2, 2010 at 6:12 PM #

    How about “What if I find the music distracting?” or “How as a musician in the congregation do I balance worshipping and watching the musician who plays the instrument I do?” or “How do I make the most of music solos?”
    I’m looking forward to this book!
    Was Justin asking himself “What about Bob?” :-P

  8. mike passaro March 2, 2010 at 6:14 PM #

    Hey Bob,

    This sounds like an excellent book (assuming you don’t drop the ball! :)

    I would love for you to address how private/personal worship affects how times of corporate worship. I’ve seen, many times, that a lack of personal worship throughout the week (prayer, bible intake, praise) negatively affects the time of corporate worship…and tends to turn the church gathering into a time of “personal worship”…

    Enter preferences and opinions. Battles and quarrels. If personal/private worship was happening regularly, people would lay aside preference for the good of the whole…etc.

    thanks for serving us so well with the work you put into writing! I praise God for this gift he’s given you!


  9. Dustin Smetona March 2, 2010 at 6:19 PM #

    As a worship leader, I know plenty of people that don’t care to sing. How about a question like:

    How can I worship without singing?


    Do I have to sing in order to worship?

  10. Dustin Smetona March 2, 2010 at 6:20 PM #

    P.S. I’m very excited for your new book Bob! ‘Worship Matters’ has been such an encouraging and enriching book for me. I praise God for it!

  11. John Power March 2, 2010 at 6:20 PM #

    “What if I don’t like the worship music?”

    See you in a month at my Starbucks at T4G.

  12. John Martin March 2, 2010 at 6:21 PM #

    Excellent news!

    Here are a couple…

    – How should I prepare for corporate worship?
    – What if the music is not my “style”?

    Looking forward to the fruit of this effort!

  13. Peter March 2, 2010 at 6:21 PM #

    How can we prepare to worship?

    How can we better handle worship styles that are not comfortable/familiar to us? (and still glorify God)

    How do I take “myself” out of worship? (ego, wants, criticisms, etc)

    What is worship? (more than music, right?)

    Perhaps something aimed at humility, our place before God, submission, or something similar. Western culture, and especially American Western culture, seems to have a really hard time with this.

    What if I don’t like the pastor? (or anyone – doesn’t just have to be the worship leader – a poor attitude towards one of the church leaders will impact worship)

    What if I don’t feel like worshiping?

    Sounds like this will be an interesting project. I look forward to reading more about it as it progresses.

  14. Jason Graves March 2, 2010 at 6:22 PM #

    1. “What if I don’t like the worship ‘style’ ? (ie. How can I still enter in to worship?)

    2. “Is it ok for me to make song suggestions to our worship leader?”

  15. Trent Broussard March 2, 2010 at 6:32 PM #

    I am so glad you are writing another book.

    How about “what if I don’t like or know a song?”

  16. dave fournier March 2, 2010 at 6:33 PM #

    How do the Father, Son and Holy Spirit all relate to our approach to worship? i.e. What defines distinctly Trinitarian worship?

  17. David Malament March 2, 2010 at 6:38 PM #

    How can I worship when the music is terrible? (ie, Care Group)

  18. Donna M. Banks March 2, 2010 at 6:40 PM #

    How do I prepare my heart for worship throughout the week ie. before I get to church? It’s so much easier to enter into worship when you listen to gospel centered lyrics during the week and practice daily Bible study, etc. Our culture often thinks about church on Saturday but often the thoughts linger more on what to wear, how to dress the kids, etc. than on our hearts.

  19. Eric March 2, 2010 at 6:45 PM #

    What if I don’t know the song(s)?

    How can I worship when the music isn’t what I like?

    What should I do when the music is a distraction to worship?

    I’ll try to think of some others… P.S. Liked your first book a lot. Kudos!

  20. Chris Kidd March 2, 2010 at 6:53 PM #

    SOunds a great idea. How about…

    What am I suppossed to do during ‘worship’?
    How do I worship Mon-Sat?
    What should I do when I don’t feel like singing?
    How do I deal with “Jesus is my boyfriend” type songs as a man’s man?

  21. jerod harper March 2, 2010 at 7:05 PM #

    How do I worship when I don’t agree with the lyrics? (Kinda like Ligon Duncan’s lecture on How to listen to a bad sermon.)
    How do I prepare for worship?
    How can I pray for my worship leader?
    Why do many churches sing two verses of a song as a congregation and then spend 20 minutes with solo, a choir special, and a orchestra special? When do we get to sing?!!

  22. Brenda March 2, 2010 at 7:09 PM #

    Who decided to play music when we are having silent prayer?

  23. Jarred Rushing March 2, 2010 at 7:32 PM #

    First book was AWESOME!
    Maybe a chapter on “Approaching Your Worship Leader” explaining to how to offer song request, constructive criticism, and maybe revealing what goes on in the worship leaders life(explaining why he/she can’t get to their song as quick as they’d like because we already have a stack of music request and “to do’s” already..be patient and understanding!!).

  24. Chris Tomlinson March 2, 2010 at 8:03 PM #

    What does worship in the here and now teach us about worship in the there and then?

  25. Jeffery Hunt March 2, 2010 at 8:26 PM #

    How are/what sanctifying graces (are) imparted to the believer during congregational singing?

    During congregational singing, How do I balance gospel listening/singing for mutual encouragement (horizontel) and godward focus (vertical)?

  26. KT March 2, 2010 at 8:29 PM #

    How important is how much I like the music?
    What if the style distracts or depresses me?
    How do I maximize God’s glory in my worship?
    How do I counteract common distractions during worship?

  27. Josh Donegani March 2, 2010 at 8:30 PM #

    How do I lose my self-awareness and replace it with a God-awareness?

    I often find when I’m singing that I’m so distracted by what I am doing / am not doing / could be doing / might do … that I’m not able to focus on worshipping God through what I am singing.

    How do I sing songs that don’t match my mood or situation? For example, singing a song bursting with joy when my soul feels crushed, singing confidence in truth when I’m doubting or singing about suffering when my walk with God is on a sunlight-filled mountain-top.

  28. Matt Novak March 2, 2010 at 8:39 PM #

    Kind of bouncing off the first comment by Derek about people who just stand in the pews and don’t sing. A question could be specifically addressed to them and then one that could have more of an effect on everyone. For example, “What are you doing/thinking about when you aren’t singing during musical worship time?” Then a more general question that everyone has probably fallen into about “What should we do when we don’t feel like singing?”

    A follow up question for question #1 could be, “Is the reasoning for us not singing because our hearts and minds are on other things, or are we standing there with our hearts and minds on Jesus, meditating on the truths that the lyrics are ‘hopefully’ providing?”

    A follow up question for #2 could be “Well do we press on with singing/worshiping even though we don’t want to and our heart’s necessarily not all there, or do we silence and refresh ourselves of the Gospel truths along with why we can even sing praises in the first place (life, death, resurrection of Christ.)

    Sorry for the lengthy comment, but hopefully the Spirit will use it to spark ideas in you or others who read this. Thanks for “Worship Matters.” Just wonderful.

  29. Steve March 2, 2010 at 8:44 PM #


    What about the possibility of creativity within the congregation to write original material (e.g., based on an upcoming sermon series) for the worship service? If this is a good idea, how would this concept be introduced/taught to the congregation? I think this would make the congregation more involved in the service. Another benefit would be weaning churches off of karaoke. Just an idea, thanks, steve.

  30. Amanda March 2, 2010 at 8:54 PM #

    What if I don’t think I can sing well? Or I just can’t sing well?
    What if the songs are in a bad key for me?

  31. Jeff March 2, 2010 at 9:01 PM #

    Who should I worship? The Father? The Son? The Spirit?
    How do I exercise the spiritual gifts in worship?
    What role do Old Testament forms of worship play in the New Testament Church?

    Those are a few that come to mind.

  32. Ryan March 2, 2010 at 9:06 PM #

    Thanks Bob! I think everyone else has mentioned what I would mention. This is coming out next month right? ‘Cause I really want to read it and get it into the hands of a lot of folks! ;)

  33. JoeS March 2, 2010 at 9:12 PM #

    What do I do when the band is playing an instrumental or the worship leader is vamping?

    I second the comments about “how do I worship when I don’t like the music” or “how do I avoid focusing on the musical performance?”

    I’m excited for this book to be written published, and bought by me.

  34. Angelo DelliSanti March 2, 2010 at 9:13 PM #

    “What if I can’t sing or even stay on beat?”

    I struggled with this question for a while, probably since the first time I ever sang at church. Although it rarely affects me now, I believe that this is a struggle that many people can have. Further, I believe that a chapter, or even a couple pages, could potentially be given to helping people answer this question.

  35. Lisa Shoemaker March 2, 2010 at 9:20 PM #

    What if I don’t like electric guitar (and want more organ)?
    What if I think it’s too loud?
    What if I don’t like the songs?

    I’m really looking forward to this book. I really like the idea of teaching our congregation more about worship and who it’s really all about! I know you’ll do a great job… thank you for your heart!

  36. Gordon Wilkerson March 2, 2010 at 9:33 PM #


    A few questions that come to mind include:

    Why is corporate worship important?

    How does lifting our voices together bring glory to God differently than private worship?

    What importance does corporate worship play in spiritual growth? How does it encourage the body of Christ?

    Thanks for your continued diligence to bring glory to God through worship and encourage the church.

    WG09 was a tremendous blessing and encouragement. Looking forward to WG11.


  37. Buddy Williams March 2, 2010 at 9:33 PM #

    Bob – having just meet you and participated in a worship conference you spoke at in North Carolina and not being a worship leader there are many things I learned. Here’s a few that apply to your question:

    1) It’s okay to acknowledge people around you. Have your eyes open while you praise God with you hands high. You are actually exhorting your fellow heirs to worship God with you.

    2) Focus on the Words of the song – that’s the important part. It’s not the style or performance but the words. Oh boy this one is helping me so much – I knew but I needed it to be driven deeper.

    3) Add something about dealing with your feelings. I know many people (including myself at times) who struggle with the way they feel walking into worship. How can we handle ourselves?

    4) Talk about preparing your heart for worship by engaging God privately. I know you do this. I do this. But I wonder if many do not know that is something that leads to their having difficultly.

    5) Worship God with our body. The natural outflow of my inner man toward my God. Maybe clapping, maybe a little hopping, maybe a little swaying, etc is in order…

    In summary, help us to get past ourselves in our flesh. Help us to grasp more of the grace that is available to us in Christ Jesus. We want to worship – help us get past those things that hinder us, particularly in the heart.

    Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

    In Christ,

  38. Dan Lerro March 2, 2010 at 9:41 PM #

    One chapter that would be helpful for people I think would be, “Why so many songs about the cross?” I have heard you address that issue before in other formats and I was greatly helped.

  39. Natalia March 2, 2010 at 9:46 PM #

    – Can we play+sing blues to the glory of God? :))))

  40. Nathaniel MacArthur March 2, 2010 at 9:47 PM #

    It’s great to hear that the new edition for the individual is being written. Worship Matters presented thought-provoking ideas about the purpose and meaning of worship for leaders.

    Here are some questions to try to answer:

    -What should I meditate on while singing?
    -Should I continue singing a worship song in a congregation if I feel that the content misrepresents the Gospel or if its message is incomplete?
    -How should I worship if the style of worship music or the lyrics themselves purport misleading theology?

  41. Nick March 2, 2010 at 9:51 PM #

    Seconding KT; how to avoid distractions.

    Some examples of “inconsequential” distractions, e.g.: people walking through the aisle, child care numbers flashing, and video on the projected lyrics.

    Also relevant are are more “serious” distractions, e.g.: I may be distracted about a decision I’m supposed to hear from my doctor about a life-threatening illness, I may be distracted about my week at work, or I may be distracted by any number of other things going on in my life.

  42. Clay Tabor March 2, 2010 at 10:07 PM #

    This is an awesome idea! I purchased your first book and am excited about digging into it this summer – I’ve had a list of books a mile high for a while now, and am slowly moving through them! Some of these questions may have already been asked:

    What is the role of the mind in worship?
    What role do our emotions play in worship?
    How do these two interact?
    What is “true” or “pure” worship?
    What should be my heart coming into a worship service?
    Is worship more than music?

  43. Matt March 2, 2010 at 10:13 PM #

    How about…

    Write the book as fast as you can Bob!!!

  44. Dan Loggans March 2, 2010 at 10:25 PM #

    Looking forward to this!! I would benefit from a chapter on our preparation for the worship service – both pre-service (Sunday AM) and the night before (Saturday evening). The only title I could think of was “What? A Saturday night Curfew?” :-)

  45. chris March 2, 2010 at 10:42 PM #

    Well, there are some great questions here already…

    I might add a twist on the “why do we sing” question to include “why do we sing TOGETHER…” The importance of being together as the bride seems to be lost in the churches I’m currently connected to.

    Loved book #1. Eager for the sequal :) Thanks for pastoring a bunch of us through the written word, even when you don’t know us….


  46. Dan Stanley March 2, 2010 at 10:51 PM #

    I would recommend addressing the idea that worship is not just singing during church. That the worship service includes numerous forms of worship (preaching, reading of scripture, offering, singing, etc..). Maybe the idea that worship doesn’t start when we sing and then stop when we are done singing. Too many people in the church associate “worship” with just singing.

    Another suggestion I have would be related to type of music in a worship service. What if they don’t like the type of music? What if they like just organs or drums with guitars? Is a appropriate to judge the type of music even though the lyrics are prudent?

    These are just some questions/areas I would think would be helpful to Christians.

    I have been a follower of your blog for some time now and I have greatly benefited, as a worship leader and as a Christian in general, from your writings and music. I have also benefited greatly from reading Harold Best’s Unceasing Worship..a fantastic book.

    Anyways, these are just my suggestions. Thanks for all you do.

  47. Thomas March 2, 2010 at 10:55 PM #

    I think it would be good to have some content outlining how justification and sanctification change the mindset for worship. As a worship leader, I so often see people coming in with baggage – baggage that has been paid for and forgiven. Solid content on our justification through Jesus and our sanctification through the Holy Spirit and how it relates to worship would be most helpful. Also, some content on how taking up your cross daily affects corporate worship would be cool too.

    Look forward to the updates on the book!

  48. cmhaygood March 2, 2010 at 10:58 PM #

    In our small group at church we’re reading a book titled Life in the Father’s House by Wayne Mack and Dave Swavely. Just read chapter 6 devoted to corporate worship. They had some great insights into this very thing. It would be worth your read as you start this journey.

    Thanks for writing. The work you devote to this task is beneficial in ways that you will only realize in heaven.

  49. Juan Cruz March 2, 2010 at 11:26 PM #

    Going along with the chapter questions you had like “Why Do We Sing?”, “What Do We Do With Our Bodies?”, and “What If I Don’t Like My Worship Leader?” I would say,

    – What if I don’t feel like worshiping?
    – How do I approach Sunday morning?
    – How can I worship when I’m aware of my sins?
    – Do I come to give or to receive?

    Looking forward to your book!

  50. Terry Stauffer March 2, 2010 at 11:43 PM #

    Aha! On the 44th comment someone got to what I was looking for. Thanks Mr. Loggans.

    What about encouraging people to prepare by being awake? Saturday night is play time for so many people.

    Looking forward to the book, even if it doesn’t impose a curfew.

  51. Paul Hayes March 3, 2010 at 12:00 AM #

    1. What does music have to do with Worship?
    2. How can I encourage my Music Pastor?
    3. How can I approach the Music Pastor with constructive criticism?
    4. How can I die to self in musical worship?
    5. How can we encourage elderly Christians to join in musical worship?
    6. How can I worship through music when I dislike the music style?

    Thanks Bob! Love the first book!

  52. Lindsay March 3, 2010 at 12:09 AM #

    I just started a non-traditional worship service at a church (upon THEIR request), and here is the number one question/comment I get:

    1. Why do we sing the same words over and over again? Is it so we learn the words?

    This really sounds simplistic and easily explainable, but for people who rarely listen to Christian radio (not a big fan of it where I am, apparently), and have never moved beyond singing or even SAYING the words of hymns, repetition is awkward for them.

    And to add to that,

    2. Why is it important that we sing? A response to how many times I have heard people speak unashamedly of their inability to sing. When I told them it didn’t matter how they sounded, but that even the most beautiful voice was a hideous sound if it were not for Jesus, the idea of making a joyful noise is difficult.

  53. taige mcmahon March 3, 2010 at 1:07 AM #

    Why does it seem that most worship music lacks creativity? why do we accept a lower musical standard in worship music then we do in other music that we listen too? is there a place to marry musical creativity and true meaningful words?

  54. brad williamson March 3, 2010 at 1:23 AM #

    Off the top of my (and my wife’s) head:
    -What do you do when you are not being led? i.e. more performance oriented, discouraged by lack of congregational participation
    – Who sets the social norm for “acceptable” physical response? Leader, pastors, choir, etc?
    -Is it ok to be bothered by bad musical quality or undesirable styles?
    -How do I focus on woshipping God when the lyrics are man centered or borderline heretical?

    I hope those help. We desperatly need a book like this. Glad your going undertake the task, and greatful for your sacrifices.

  55. Clare March 3, 2010 at 2:35 AM #

    Is worship just about singing?
    This is something alot of books touch on but don’t go into any great detail, and I often feel frustrated when reading books that they don’t go far enough with answers to this question.
    I really look forward to your next book.



  56. Pat March 3, 2010 at 6:12 AM #

    I think what is obvious in todays world is how does our ‘worship’ on Sunday relate to the world we live in? How do the songs we sing etc motivate us so that we cry over the lack of justice in our world? How do we become transformed people who change lives rather than just sing about doing it?

  57. Caroline March 3, 2010 at 6:18 AM #

    Its so cool that your writing another book:) I am currently reading your first book and enjoyin it.. even though the main target are the worship leaders and those involved in some kind of worship team at church, there have been a lot of things I have learnt from the book.

    My question for your new book would be that: If there aint any new songs being taught and there is a lot of repetition of songs, as a lay person how do we approach the worship leader?

  58. Alan Gale March 3, 2010 at 6:24 AM #

    Well excited to hear your writing another book Bob.

    With your last book having an obvious emphasis on those who lead the musical worship, there may be room for re-stating a few things from Worship Matters, as those who dont lead may have decided to not pick that book up for that reason.

    As someone has already said “What a worship leader does, and doesnt do” would be very helpful to all to know (i.e. Only Jesus brings us into the presence of God through His atoning blood shed upon on the cross) This was very clearly defined in worship matters and would be a great help.

    Your seminar on physical expressivness at WG09 is where I point people too that ask why we do what we do when we sing. A chapter on this will be very helpful

    Looking forward to the means of grace this book will be to the wider body

    In Him

  59. Annalisa March 3, 2010 at 7:19 AM #

    I think it might be helpful to cover why corporate worship is important. I’m seeing a lot of Christians lately who are sort of disenchanted with the Sunday morning assembly, and I think they need help seeing again why it’s important and vital and beautiful to be with the assembled body of Christ.

  60. Jason D March 3, 2010 at 8:20 AM #

    Glad you’re writing more!

    One thing that would be good to address that I (as a worship leader) just talked about to one of our members was that he did not like the music style at first but has grown to enjoy it just cause of the lyrics. maybe talk about being truth driven rather than appealing to one certain style of music.

  61. Jason March 3, 2010 at 8:22 AM #

    How do we worship in a way that is not trivial or pretentious? What does trivial or pretentious worship look like, and not look like?

  62. Josh Perry March 3, 2010 at 9:12 AM #

    Great news! This will serve the church so well. We’ve given your book to song leaders all over our city. Well done.

    The feedback you asked for: It may be covered in your “bodies” chapter, but speak to the topic of how can a worshiper express themselves physically, audibly, and spontaneously (spirit led) while maintaining unity with the others with which they’re worshipping.

    Thanks so much Bob. Looking forward to being led in worship at the T4G!

  63. Rafael Alcantara March 3, 2010 at 9:23 AM #

    What about translate your first book for the hispanic world, like some of Mahaney’s books?

    • Bob Kauflin March 3, 2010 at 10:02 AM #

      Rafael, thanks for asking. We’re looking for an Hispanic publisher for Worship Matters. We’ve had offers to translate, but they’re all from individuals. Crossway needs to work with a company. Pray we’ll find one!

  64. Kris Shaffer March 3, 2010 at 9:34 AM #

    There was some good stuff on relationships in the last book, and that would be good to continue in this one. For instance, addressing questions like:

    – How can I best serve my music leader (and musicians, and pastors)?
    – How can I serve my *new* music leader?
    – Why should I serve my music leader (and musicians, and pastors)? Aren’t they here to serve me?
    – How does the way I interact with my church’s musicians reflect my heart for God and his people?

    On the second (new music leaders), the transition to new leadership is always an important time for the church to step up and support/encourage/pray for its new leader(s). However, it is often the case—especially with music—that it becomes the time where people offer feedback that is really an attempt to tweak the service, music style, song choice, etc. to their own tastes.

  65. Aaron Leggett March 3, 2010 at 9:39 AM #

    I very much appreciated your first book and have shared it with many at my church. I’m wondering if you know of any books that answer the question of why we do each element in a service? If not, I think it would be beneficial to explain the significance of various elements and questions common to many churches such as:

    – Communion (why do it? why so often? why not so often?)

    – Confession/Assurance (why are you making us feel bad about ourselves?)

    – Sermon (why do we have one? why is it sometimes the focal point of the service that everything is built around?)

    – Greetings (why do they always want me to shake hands with people around me? can’t I sit back and be invisible?)

    – Offering (why do some churches collect it during a service? how is that worshiping God?

    – Singing [Lindsay asked this already] (why is it important that we sing? why so much singing? why do we sometimes sing after the sermon?)

    Then there are other more general questions like:

    – Standing while singing (what difference does it make?)

    – Why do certain churches wear formal clothing and some informal? Should I think about what I wear for church?
    I’ve gone on long enough. The questions I most run into (and LOVE, because they’re thinking through what we do) concern WHY we do anything in church.

    Lastly, I just wanted to join Buddy and Dan on a section for preparing our hearts. Maybe it would answer what the purpose of meeting together even is.

    Thanks so much for whatever you may write

  66. Rod Lyon March 3, 2010 at 9:44 AM #

    Great idea! I would love to place something from your pen in the hands of the people I serve each week. I have been through Worship Matters with my lead worshippers. I would like to hear how you would help folks live worship outside the walls of the church building and especially beyond 20 or so minutes of singing. How does worship continually enable the church gathered when the church scatters? I know Harold Best addressed this in his book “Unceasing Worship”. Can you do it in a chapter? I think you can.

  67. Justin March 3, 2010 at 9:53 AM #

    I think it would be helpful to discuss certain traditions that have come about in a worship setting (standing up,clapping, worship band, pianist only, drums, orchestra, no instruments, choir robes, etc.) and how they can be benficial or detrimental to corporate worship.

  68. Jonathan March 3, 2010 at 10:05 AM #

    Thank you for listening to the Lord as He directs you in serving today’s church as a whole.

    Some may have already said this in another way, but a few questions I think each of us should wrestle with are:

    “Does my sin affect the way I worship?”

    “How do I focus on the Lord when my waywardness hinders my thought life?”

    “What is my responsibility to my fellow church members in corporate worship?”

    “Where do my emotions in worship find their source: the truths of Scripture that transform my life, or the desire to escape from life by hyping up my senses?”

    Looking forward to this resource!

  69. Ben March 3, 2010 at 10:09 AM #

    1) How do I approach your worship leader?
    2) How can I pray for my worship leader?
    3) How can I best learn a new song
    4) How can I consider others in corporate worship (what should my interraction with them be)
    5) Isn’t worship supposed to be fun? (from the blog post you did a little while back – very common misconception in the Buster and Mosaic generations who were taught this concept in children’s church and youth group)

    It also seems (from these comments) that a lot of style differences are still an issue in the church… probably is a good thing to address.

  70. Rich March 3, 2010 at 10:10 AM #

    For those not involved in leadership that want to know:

    “what can I do to help my worship leader/pastor?”

    “What does my worship leader expect from me?”

    Also I think it would be very beneficial to read a history/overview of congregational worship and it’s development throughout history from early church to reformation to today…giving the average church goer a perspective that many don’t often have today.

    I love that you are writing another book. The first was great.

  71. Dustin March 3, 2010 at 10:24 AM #

    We have been making a conscience effort to lead our congregation in realizing that we are INTERACTING live with the Holy Spirit in our Sunday gatherings. Basically we are trying to lead folks in not just KNOWING that truth but living that truth and anticipating that truth in our gatherings.

    So, how about a chapter about how worship serves in realizing we are interacting live with the Holy Spirit. Something that helps folks make that connection that this live interaction with the Holy Spirit is much more than a concept but a reality, and the role the worship plays in that.

    I might not be articulating this idea very well (after all, I’m only on my first cup of coffee).

  72. Jeff Bourque March 3, 2010 at 10:37 AM #

    When I saw the subject line in my RSS reader, I was like, “YES!” Thanks for letting God change your mind! And how fun that we get to be a part of it.

    The questions already mentioned that resonate with me are:
    65 – Aaron’s questions are a book in themselves. Excellent.
    36 – Gordon’s first two questions.
    30 – Amanda’s question – and I would add, “What if my singing is so bad it’s distracting the people around me?”
    20 – Chris’ last question is GREAT. I think the Church tends toward femininity in its songwriting, and men need something masculine to grab onto.
    13 – Peter’s last question that’s been mentioned several times – “What if I don’t feel like worshiping?”

    Thank you, Bob! Look forward to seeing you at T4G.

  73. Carol March 3, 2010 at 10:38 AM #

    One thing I would love to see accompany the book would be a small group curriculum that interacts with the content. Our church is seeking to improve (for lack of a better word) our worship and one of the goals is to educate the congregation on worship. This would be a great book for that purpose, and a set of questions to go through and explore the topic more deeply and personally in a small group setting would be tremendous.

    • Bob Kauflin March 3, 2010 at 10:53 AM #

      Carol, thanks for the idea of a small group curriculum. I’m working on that now for Worship Matters, and wish I had done it a lot earlier. Hopefully we’ll have one ready to go when the book comes out.

  74. Frank Taylor March 3, 2010 at 10:45 AM #

    Awesome.. I’m excited about this idea, Bob. My ideas already got taken, but, to reiterate what would be good for the people in the local church I serve in:

    How important is preaching in the worship time and why?

    My pastor says our giving is an act of worship. How?

    What if I don’t like the song that we are singing? What should I do? Sing it, look away, sit down, pray, get a cup of coffee…. :)

    Thanks for your ministry!

  75. Brandon March 3, 2010 at 11:09 AM #

    Our Associate pastor once preached that people have a disconnect with worship because its not about us but about God. And if we live self-centered lives vs. Christ-centered lives, we just don’t get it. I’ve been involved in worship for years, but that statement is something I think any Christian needs to use as a heart check for worship.

    I am friends with David Bailey from Richmond, VA and I know you’re in touch with him. I like his focus on cross cultural worship. I’d be good to talk about why it is important for the worshiper to understand, “Why are we doing a song in a style that I don’t like?”

  76. Jarred Rushing March 3, 2010 at 11:09 AM #

    How does worship affect my spirit, soul and body?

  77. Chris Land March 3, 2010 at 11:09 AM #


    I just got your first book (I know I’m behind). There are a few topics that I think that need to be addressed is:

    What to tell people who are so comfortable with their old style of worship.

    What to do when some people want to hear a talented singer do a solo more than worship being led by the worship leader.

    What to do when the church only worship songs they know.

    What to do when the pastor wants change but only he does him and not the worship leader.

    What if the pastor takes up some of the worship time in the beginning by addressing the congregation and taking about 10-20 minutes of adoring God in corporate worship?

    What if an instrument player refuses to learn new songs?

    Is it wrong for churches to sing happy birthday and happy anniversary to people during the worship hour?

    I am thankful for your ministry and looking forward to read Worship Matters.

  78. Scott March 3, 2010 at 11:12 AM #

    Thank you so much for launching out on this new project. As a worship leader that has been asked to leave my former church, I’m now in the pew, seeing things from a different perspective. Right now, most of my Sundays are met with “How do I worship when I don’t feel like it?” It’s hard to be in that place, either when you’re up front or in the pew.

    To the “distractions” subject, I would add: What do I do when the people around me sing so badly that it’s distracting?

  79. Paul Cain March 3, 2010 at 11:21 AM #

    Bob, thanks for the first book. I would like to see you put American Evangelical worship forms in the context of forms of the historic church, with particular emphasis on the Reformation period and the early church. I think this would help folks see a way forward out of the so-called “worship wars,” if we could use historic structures, song from the whole life of the Christian church, a wide range of instrumentation, and minimize the entertainment aspect. I would also love to hear more emphasis of Hebrews 12:28-29.

  80. Aaron C. March 3, 2010 at 11:32 AM #

    Thanks in advance for writing this book, Bob. I look forward to reading it and sharing it with people in my church. One assumption people have had when asking questions about worship style is that fierce disagreements on what we sing is a 20th and 21st century problem- as if everyone explicitly agreed on what the church should sing up until the birth of praise choruses and worship bands. Perhaps a chapter on the disagreements the church has had over music and what has helped us endure in spite of these disagreements (i.e. the Gospel) would be helpful?


  81. Brian Whitaker March 3, 2010 at 11:39 AM #

    Bob, Worship Matters has been a blessing to our entire worship ministry. I look forward to what you will write in this volume. I will pray for the Lord’s clear guidance.

    We feel we are constantly educating our congregation about “what is worship.” I’m sure this true in most every church. I have written out a few points or questions below for your consideration, based on things we have dealt with in our congregation.

    Worship is not just the music.

    Worship has nothing to do with style.

    What do I do if I just don’t FEEL God?

    How can I be less distracted during worship?

    Why do we do so many songs?
    Why don’t we do enough songs?

    What is the purpose of music? Why can’t we just go right to the sermon?

    Why is my church different from the churches I see on YouTube or in worship videos? Why can’t we all be like that?

    Why don’t we do the songs I praised God with when I was growing up? I love those songs!

    Bob, this book could end up being hundreds of pages long, yet I suspect your goal is to keep it short so it’s more likely to be read more often. So I pray for you great grace and discernment in what you address.

    God’s blessings to you as you continue to minister in HIS name!

  82. Kyle March 3, 2010 at 11:57 AM #

    No way I’m reading all 76 comments, so if these are repeats, I apologize. (Although perhaps repeats indicate an itch felt by many.)

    What if I don’t like the music at my church? (Addressing personal preference)

    Who should I talk to about my concerns regarding worship at my church? (In other words, a challenge to direct comments/suggestions to the pastor/worship leader, rather than sowing discontent among brothers & sisters.)

    Why do the songs always talk about the cross? I’m already a Christian! (A suggestion you didn’t even need, I’m sure.)

    How do I worship if I’m mad at God? (Addressing our hearts toward God in the midst of life’s trials)

    Thanks for doing this, Bob. I’m super excited about what God will do through this next effort.



  83. Deb Thompson March 3, 2010 at 12:13 PM #

    I would love your insight on working with teenagers within the worship music ministry.

    I have a teen serving a few times a month and she tends to have an attitude at times and her testimony within the church is not a healthy one; however, despite that, her parents are not supportive of my correction as the leader of the music ministry and I find this particular family to be a source of friction quite often within this ministry.
    I do not correct her in any other areas but that of music and her direct involvement with it. I want to encourage her, to help her and use her, I’m just torn between constant conflict or parting ways at this time for everyone’s spiritual well-being. I understand conflict to be par for the course, but unsupportive parents is hard to get by.

  84. Julie J March 3, 2010 at 12:46 PM #

    “Why do the same people always get to lead the worship?” Is it like the teacher having a teacher’s pet?”

    “What do dancing, bouncing, shouting, and waving of hands have to do with worship?”

    “Why do they keep introducing new songs? Weren’t the old songs spiritual enough?”

    “If the words are the most important part, why is there such a big deal about having a band?”

    These are just a few I’ve heard over the years…I can’t wait to see what God does with you next! Always praying for your family, especially little Jack..


    Julie J

    • Bob Kauflin March 3, 2010 at 1:04 PM #

      Julie, thank you so much for your questions, and your prayers. Very kind of you.

  85. Pete Tegeler March 3, 2010 at 1:15 PM #

    Thanks for your book Bob.

    “How do I worship when the music does not match the mood that I am experiencing (ie The music is up-tempo and clappy but I am feeling broken and contemplative)?”

    “What do I do during instrumental times (or a different question regarding spontaneous worship and freedom to express oneself and freedom to sing something other than what is being projected on the slides)?”

    I am looking forward to another great resource. Thanks!

  86. Caleb B. March 3, 2010 at 2:07 PM #

    Hey Mr. Kauflin,
    Very excited about the new book! Worship Matters greatly served me, and i know it did for many others!
    I was thinking some people might have the question “Why do we need to sing in a corporate setting.” Can’t we do this at home? This could help remind us of the importance of the Church in the Christians life, especially in the area of worship.
    Also, how can younger members/believers better engage Sunday worship times, without distraction of wanting to talk to friends at the break/ having fellowship,etc.
    Thank you for the numerous ways you serve us so effectively, and look forward to seeing you at NEXT 2010!

  87. Ted Slater March 3, 2010 at 4:24 PM #

    Some people feel as though the music/singing “invokes” the presence of God. Such a big responsibility — if I don’t “worship” just right, God won’t show up! Maybe help put that burdensome misunderstanding to rest.

    Colossians 3:16 is my favorite verse on corporate worship:

    “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

    I would love to see you explore what that means and what it looks like in practice, specifically, for members of the congregation.

    Finally, how might members of a congregation give their feedback to church musicians and sound teams? For example, should they say, “Great worship today!” Or maybe, “Thanks for playing that hook!” Or perhaps, “It was too loud.” Or, “Could you play suchandsuch next week?” How can they share their opinions, or encourage, in appropriate ways?

  88. Ted Slater March 3, 2010 at 4:28 PM #

    For some reason, C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters came to mind just now. Remember when the devil was tempting the man during church with various thoughts? I wonder if that could give you some ideas of what to address — how to recognize and confront thoughts during church services that interrupt engagement with God?

  89. Matt Novak March 3, 2010 at 5:47 PM #

    Going off #66 concerning “unceasing worship,” a question that came to mind is, “Can listening to ‘worship songs’ on our iPod be called worship, or just a time of encouragement. Or maybe have a question dealing with “How we can glorify
    God with the music we listen to on an everyday basis.”

    Once again thanks for Worship Matters and the book to come. Very excited.

  90. Simon Robinson March 3, 2010 at 6:41 PM #

    Bob, an attitude I am concerned by is expressed in the statement: ‘I didn’t get much out of the worship today’.

    It seems a contradiction in terms to be a ‘worship consumer’.

    So I would appreciate it if you would address how we appropriately draw together our desire:

    – to serve God in corporate singing;
    – to serve other people in corporate singing; and
    – to benefit personally from corporate singing.

    Surely these desires need not compete?

    As this question focusses on our personal attitude in the context of a worshipping community it seems to follow the themes you sketched out for your next book.

    Thank you for using the gifts you have been given to strengthen the Church (including here in the UK). Off I go to obediently read The Religious Affections…. ;o)

  91. Josh March 3, 2010 at 9:21 PM #

    Why sing – what is the biblical reason for MUSICAL worship?

    How to combat fear of man in being expressive in worship (both in the form of avoiding expression and in the form of expressing to get attention/impress others).

    Dealing with condemnation, hesistance to come.

    Dealing with lack of enthusiasm, lack of emotion

    Engaging mind v. engaging emotions, relationship between the two.

  92. Chris Krycho March 4, 2010 at 12:30 AM #

    In terms of questions to answer:
    -What is the relationship between musical excellence and worshipfulness?
    -What expectations should church members have of their leaders as regards worship?
    -How worship is broader than singing, and what that looks like both inside the church (the whole service?) and outside (how does it fit into our lives?)
    -Corporate versus individual worship?

    We’ll look forward to reading this—a lot. Because I’ve spent a lot of time on “worship teams,” I’ve spent a lot more time thinking about how leaders should handle things. Especially because the few times I led our very small youth group, it was hard to do well. But a book helping Christians know what they should expect, what worship is… that would be invaluable.

  93. Trevor Hodge March 4, 2010 at 7:19 AM #

    Hi Bob,

    Sounds good – looking forward to reading it and passing it on!

    I know it could be a bit of a tangent, but one thing I’d like to see explored is how passages like Isaiah 1, Micah 6 and Amos 5 – where God doesn’t want to hear his people’s songs because of their injustice – apply to today’s church…particularly affluent developed world churches like I’m a part of.

  94. Steve Baehr March 4, 2010 at 10:30 AM #

    I like Ted’s comment above. For worship leaders, good feedback is so hard to find!

    Perhaps a good question to answer (even if many congregations don’t know to ask it) is, “should my worship leader be a pastor to me?” Is he the “Chief musician” or something more?

    By the way, I’ve been leading worship for 10 years, and “Worship Matters” is knocking me flat on my back! It is encouraging, convicting and educating me. I’m giving God a lot more glory these days and I thank Him for you and your ministry.

  95. Gardner Pippin March 4, 2010 at 10:31 AM #


    I’m a young traveling worship pastor and a passion of mine that I seem to continually address, and will continue to address is the importance of the Shema–our worship outside of the church and corporate setting. I think Aaron Keyes shed’s a lot of light on this subject in his teachings and writings. There should be no disconnect between the way we glorify God corporately, and the way we glorify God through our interactions with people. Our worship should always be the overflow of our hearts–the fruit of the spirit is goes hand and hand with this topic.

    Just something I think we often miss in the large picture of a lifestyle of worship

  96. susan hart March 4, 2010 at 10:34 AM #

    i haven’t read all the 95 previous comments, but the first thing that comes to my mind is: what do i do (how should i think) if all the songs are in one style or another and they are very distracting to me? (hymns vs. contemporary)
    i have had more than one person tell me that they were thinking of leaving a church because of styles of music.

  97. Mrs March 4, 2010 at 11:03 AM #

    Could I just say I LOVE that you’re writing this book, and echo every questioned asked? They’re all so great!

  98. Craig Hull March 4, 2010 at 3:02 PM #

    I loved your first book, and I’m very excited that you are writing this second one. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    …oh, and you can just go ahead and take out that ‘i don’t like my worship leader’ question. ;-)

    May God truly bless this book by reaching many and reviving worship in our churches today. Thank you.

  99. Jim Weidner March 4, 2010 at 5:28 PM #

    What if I’m tone-deaf?

    Small vs. large group worship contexts

    What does it mean to “sing to one another?”

    I’m so blessed by your ministry, Bob.
    Thanks, brother.

  100. Paul Hayes March 4, 2010 at 9:50 PM #

    I have read all the comments and I think they are fascinating-for both their unity and diversity! I also think that the outpouring of response shows that at least Worship/Music leaders think this is a necessary book!


  101. Julie J March 5, 2010 at 9:03 AM #

    Hi Bob,

    I’m wondering if you, actually Jordan and Tali have set up a caringbridge page for Jack. We found it so much easier to keep “the masses” informed of what was going on and to not have to keep writing the same e-mail over and over or try to remember to whom it was sent. It’s a great, free site and can be found at http://www.caringbridge.org. You register and can post pictures, prayer requests, and there’s a guest book for people to sign and leave words of encouragement. Just wanted to pass this along in case you hadn’t heard of it.


    Julie Joseph

  102. Hayden Norris March 5, 2010 at 9:29 AM #

    How to humbly share music opinions with my pastors. I know you wrote an article on it, but it would be a great addition.

    It looks like this has gone from a pamphlet to a full fledged book.

    Your first book has so impacted our church family. The gentleman that helps to lead us in our worship through music has really grown through reading it.

  103. David Pratt March 5, 2010 at 11:24 AM #

    perhaps closely related to “what if I don’t feel like worshiping” is this. What if I can’t honestly sing the words of the song that we are on? How do I worship in this moment?”

    I had a woman tell me that when this has happens to her, she instead prays that God would work in her so that she could sing those lyrics and mean them. I was so pleased with her desire for true worship there – to not just go through the motions and sing along because that is what we are supposed to do at that time.

    It is also a good reminder for us as worship leaders/those that plan worship services, to not focus too much on narrow topics that may be very personal to one category of people but foreign to another, and also to focus more heavily on the truths about God that are constant and universal, rather than personal, perhaps individual-in-the-moment responses to God. We know from the Psalms and other sources that these are also very appropriate, but to try to think of the corporate gathering of the body.

  104. Craig Hurst March 5, 2010 at 2:09 PM #

    Is there enough room in the book for an introductory chapter on the theology of corporate worship in order to guide the rest of the book?

    • Bob Kauflin March 5, 2010 at 3:42 PM #

      Craig, Yes, I think I’l have to say a good bit about the theology of worship for things to make sense.

  105. Liz March 5, 2010 at 3:46 PM #

    Something about why we should/ shouldn’t use instruments in worship. I’ve been coming across some fervent arguments for both sides of this so would be interested in what you had to say.

  106. Dan March 5, 2010 at 6:36 PM #

    How about this topic: How to do your 9-5 job as worship.

    Also, I have a son who’s best worship is when he walks the dogs. However, he has difficulty with worship in song in the gathering of the saints. Perhaps he feels there are too many folks not helped by worship in song as he sees too many people who make that a big issue, but never really love their neighbors (not only the saints). He has a missional passion, but doesn’t see many others sharing that passion, so his question is, “what good is worship in song with the saints when that is all they do?”

  107. Andy Chang March 5, 2010 at 7:03 PM #

    Not to be on a tangent, but I’ve been hinting to Dave Wilcox off & on, that a book should be written regarding doing A/V to the glory of God. Some practical stuff, but also heart-attitudes for an A/V team (humility, patience, etc.)… something that tech teams can use as a training and a devotional perhaps. I’m sure Dave can compile his WG notes over the years. Perhaps you could drop a hint of that idea too ;)

    Or, include an appendix related to tech. Even for the congregation, for example: How do I respond to tech distractions that affect the worship time? (distracting backgrounds, bad mix, etc.)

    • Bob Kauflin March 5, 2010 at 7:45 PM #

      Great idea, Andy! Dave Wilcox is humble, skilled, experienced, and a leader. Amazing tech director to have at the church.

  108. Nate Fancher March 6, 2010 at 2:01 PM #

    I’d love to see what Mike was talking about addressed. (comment #8) I had the same thought. What’s the significance of corporate worship and how is it different than private worship?

    Is it more than just a collective expression of individualistic experiences?

  109. Stephanie Rue March 6, 2010 at 8:25 PM #

    First, I must say thank you for Worship Matters… and incredible book! Thank you for putting in the effort to get so much on paper for the world to read.

    Secondly, I have not read through every one of the previous comments, so I apologize if I am being redundant.

    Some thoughts for your next book:

    1.) As a member of the technical team, what is the balance of participation in a service vs. running the behind-the-scenes and remaining disconnected?

    2.) Is it important for volunteers (singers/musicians/tech/etc.) to have time off just for the sake of having time off? Should the commitment to weekend services be your offering without complaint?

    This may be premature, but is there a timeline for this book’s publication? My husband and I are currently creating a study of sorts from Worship Matters to be used in classes for everyone from leaders to congregants and this new book sounds like it would be an even better alternative!!

  110. Matthew March 7, 2010 at 8:05 PM #

    Awesome news – totally looking forward to it. Hope it’s not too impertinent to suggest a title: “Why Am I Here?”

    Questions I would like to see addressed:
    “Why isn’t my worship leader getting me in the mood to worship?”
    “This song *again*??”
    “I’m getting four kids dressed, fed and out the door for 9 AM Sunday School. I don’t have time to prepare my heart before I come. Is that bad?”
    “Sure, I complain about worship sometimes, but I’m the audience, right? Isn’t the customer always right?”

    I just allowed my pastor to borrow Worship Matters for the first time. Looking forward to another book!

  111. Jared March 8, 2010 at 12:57 PM #

    So, I just finished reading EVERY comment… and this book looks like it needs to be written backwards, with a huge “troubleshooting worship” section in the front, and a closing chapter pulling up the rear :)

    I’m afraid that if you define worship, most churches are going to fail at providing purposeful, logical, meaningful forums where believers are able to worship without encountering clutter… which means that you have to figure out a way to shape it so the book’s engagement doesn’t hinge on the service format… and doing so in a small book is going to need some divine intervention.

    BUT, I heartily commend, pray for, and plead with you to give it all you’ve got! We NEED a worship primer for congregants to shape expectations and explicitly define their objectives as they approach [another] weekly service.

    So, I found MOST helpful these comment numbers : 25, 36, 40, 64, 94, and 95. And to summarize a few other frequently stated and important questions:

    – Shooting Blind: What am I here to do, and how do I know it’s been done?
    – When moods collide (no tango between me and the music)
    – Covenant or Commerce? (Is worship a journey or an exchange, or both? And how to think straight)
    – Reformation: What happens to me as I worship [authentically]
    – Chaos: What if my service doesn’t make any sense?
    – Technical Tatters (All the peripherals: poor execution, poor voices, poor environment, poor song choice)
    – Dropping the gloves: What’s worth fighting for (aka: when is it time to take a tough stand)
    – Engaging the culture: The best preparation for heartfelt worship

    I really look forward to the book, and found Worship Matters to be equal to none in its practical use. I think you should title it something like, “Redressing Worship: When Smiles don’t Matter.” Or Worshipers Matter :)

    Appreciate you and your wealth of insight.

    • Bob Kauflin March 8, 2010 at 1:18 PM #

      Jared, thanks for reading through all the comments! You should get some kind of reward for perseverance. Thanks also for the words of encouragement and your summary of the comments. VERY helpful. You seem to have a gift for chapter titles as well.

  112. Matt Novak March 8, 2010 at 1:06 PM #

    this is addressing Matthew’s (#118) last question.

    the congregation is not the audience, God is. the worship leader is not singing to the congregation for their enjoyment, and the congregation isn’t just doing one big sing-a-long either. The worship leader is leading the congregation in worship/praise to God. We should all be singing to an audience of one (God). Take that into consideration if you haven’t in the past.

  113. Patrick McKinney March 8, 2010 at 3:57 PM #

    I saw there were over 100 comments, so if someone already mentioned this, I am sorry to repeat.

    I think a good topic to address is how an individual can prepare for the time of worship in song. And I guess for those with families (I am not married), how a family can prepare for the time of worship in song.

  114. Jordan Slack March 8, 2010 at 9:36 PM #

    Awesome! I have thought in the past that it would be great for you to write a book for the congregation, and am very glad that you have decided to do so. May God bless you, and your book.

    I would have to argue with you about writing not being fun though… =D

  115. Sam March 8, 2010 at 9:59 PM #

    Hey Bob,

    I would consult Thabiti’s “What is a Healthy Church Member” as a good model. I thought for length (you said you wanted yours to be shorter), it was one of the most profitable, useful, theologically packed and APPLICABLE books I’ve ever read…

  116. jonathan mason March 9, 2010 at 8:59 AM #

    I think a good question to answer for those in the congregation would be

    1. how do i still participate in worship when i don’t like the music or song?

    2. how is worship so much more than just a song? elaborate on how worship consists of our time of prayer, scripture reading, preaching etc. (da carson’s book – worship by the book was good on this subject)

  117. Sean March 9, 2010 at 11:18 AM #

    Bob –

    This is a great idea. I think the Christian community needs more simple, yet challenging books on ecclesiology and theology for the scores of longtime baby Christians in our midst. What is a Healthy Church? by IX Marks is the model that comes to mind.

    I so enjoyed your session at WG09 that dealt with fear of man in relation to physical expression in worship. I think a brief word on that would be challenging/freeing for many. It has made a big impact on me.


  118. Matthew March 9, 2010 at 8:57 PM #

    @Matt Novak – I know. (That suggested question was partly a lame attempt at sarcasm, partly something that some churchgoers might honestly not have considered.)

  119. Matt Novak March 10, 2010 at 4:49 PM #

    @Matthew – I see, just checking man.

  120. Doug Wells March 11, 2010 at 3:56 PM #


    I agree with Brandon (#77 above) that all this talk about “worship style” is really only about MUSIC style. It seems to me that if our reason for showing up on Sunday morning isn’t to focus on, give praise, honor and glory to, and connect with The One who created us and all that is and offers us THE means of salvation, we’ve totally missed the point! The music is only a language we might use to communicate our love, wonder and thanksgiving.

    I read somewhere once that “Worship is the one thing we can give to God that didn’t first come from Him.” While I don’t know all the potential theological implications of that statement, it “struck a chord” with me and changed my way of approaching Him in my times of worship.

    OK, I’m stepping down from the pulpit now. The choir’s heard this before.

    Just thought you might consider such an emphasis.

    “Worship Matters” continues to be a blessing to me and our whole music team. Thank you for being obedient to the Spirit and carrying it through.


  121. Eric Schumacher March 12, 2010 at 12:12 PM #

    How do I love God in corporate worship?
    How do I love the church in corporate worship?
    How do I love unbelievers in corporate worship?
    When is leaving over corporate worship loving? (And how to do so…)
    When is staying (despite wanting to leave over corporate worship) loving? (And how to do so…)

  122. Ryan Matchett March 12, 2010 at 12:46 PM #

    A helpful chapter for me and my church would be, “How to pass on Worship to your children.” I have heard many families speak of how their kids dont want to be in worship etc.

  123. Rene Paz March 13, 2010 at 9:54 AM #

    Hi Bob,

    I am so thankful to God for your life. One of the things I would like to find in the book is: what about worship in youth groups? I am 21 years old and I’ve seen that in many youth services they change many things (mostly in worship) to “attrack more youth.

  124. Kim March 16, 2010 at 11:03 PM #

    I think a chapter on helping parents help their kids of all ages to worship. At our church, our children are dismissed after 15 to 20 minutes and it breaks my heart when parents take their kids out because they thinks its not developmentally appropriate for their child to HAVE to do it. With my own kids I held and swayed and sang (tho badly) in their ears until I couldn’t hold them – 4 or so – and now with my youngest 5 – I feed him words to songs he’s unfamiliar with and I don’t allow my children to sit or lie down during worship. This may be another book altogether…maybe, dare I say, book 3?

  125. Steve Laube March 17, 2010 at 12:46 PM #

    A little more theoretical, but still with immense practicality, is the question:
    “How do you know when you’ve done it?”
    “How do you know when you have actually worshipped?”

    All the talk about singing and praying and lifting hearts and minds and saying the rights words with the right attitude…
    But is it something to be accomplished? or something to be experienced? or is this the absolute wrong question to ask? Could it be that it isn’t about “me” and whether I’ve pleased God?

  126. Scott Kemp March 20, 2010 at 10:54 PM #

    “What your worship leader wants you to know about how your comments (kind and unkind) affect him.”

    Who should determine the style of music? Worship leader, Pastor, Congregation? Who?

    Should I leave a church over music styles? The words are great, but I can’t worship to this music style!

  127. iancarloapo March 23, 2010 at 6:07 PM #

    what if other team members of the music won’t listen to your suggestion?

    – lower down the volume of your instrument.
    – this is how WE play it, not how YOU play it


  128. Craig March 24, 2010 at 6:00 PM #

    I first was exposed to your “tensions” discussion at CMS Overlake. I love how you addressed it in Worship Matters. It really helped my walk with God. I think some discussion of those tensions would greatly help the Body of Christ.
    Looking forward to the new book!

  129. Jon Watts March 25, 2010 at 9:47 PM #

    Hi Bob, blessings as you begin this creative process again. Here are some things I would love to see more people talking about in worship:
    -how do we worship WITH our community (what makes Sunday morning any different, really, from our personal time with God? Are we conscious of the fact that we are worshipping together?
    -how can we worship in a way that makes us aware of God’s global nature – he is far bigger than we are, and his kingdom is a lot bigger than the styles and songs we like or know best.

    I think these can be good approaches to overcoming the frustration of “having” to worship with others who have different preferences than we do…


  130. Matt Johnson March 30, 2010 at 12:00 PM #

    Hi Bob

    Greetings from England, and many, many thanks for ‘Worship Matters’.

    Our society’s ‘cultural norm’ for assessing whether an event (gig, theatre, sports etc) was any good is ‘did I get a buzz out of being there? Did it make me feel good?’ We easily transfer this to how we assess our church experience. This leads headlong into ‘worship wars’ and faction, as personal preference, often disguised as ‘such and such didn’t help me worship’, becomes our judging criterion for church services.

    How do we reorient ourselves away from a ‘me first’ attitude to a ‘God and others’ first attitude, while remaining free to give positive criticism?

    Or, put another way, how can I participate in church services in a way that seeks to build up the Body, as opposed to only seeking to build me up?

    [I assume your book will look to cover our approach to church services as a whole, not just the musical bits].

  131. Mark Sylvester April 3, 2010 at 2:35 PM #

    Sounds like a great, necessary topic to be covered!

    Here are some ideas:
    – What do I do if the music doesn’t “sound”good? Or isn’t my style?
    – How can I prepare my heart to worship God before music?

    – Another idea, what about writing to musicians in a church’s worship band? When to play? When not to play? Those kind of things?
    looking forward to the new book!

  132. Joshua Huizing April 13, 2010 at 1:22 AM #

    What if the music is actually embarrassing to hear, let alone sing along with?

  133. Scott April 23, 2010 at 5:19 PM #


    A suggestion – as a bridge between your focus audience for your new book and that for “Worship Matters” – consider a chapter or two specifically addressed to choirs. My experience has been that, while I consider my choir members every bit the worship leader I am, they don’t think that way. They look at me, the pastor, the vocal team, the instrumentalists as the primary worship leaders…yet they also consider themselves separately from the congregational participants – in kind of a curious middle ground. Just a thought…

    • Bob Kauflin April 23, 2010 at 5:23 PM #

      Scott (and everyone else), thanks for these helpful thoughts. I’ve been using them as I’ve been charting out the chapters for my new book.

  134. Brett Lovern April 25, 2010 at 11:27 PM #

    How about “which is more important: preaching or worship?”

  135. Kendall Lord June 14, 2010 at 10:43 AM #

    I am intrigued by the concept of a book addressing the worshipers’ biblical responsibilities in corporate worship. Worship is rarely approached from that perspective.

    Though generalizations may not be fair, it is my impression that many of the men in our congregation are spiritually passive and comfortable and complacent, which spills over into their lives as worshipers. How can this effectively be addressed?

  136. Sandy June 28, 2010 at 3:28 PM #

    What about praying while your are singing and during instrumentals, etc?

    Is it okay to smile at or even look at the members of the worship team during worship-not to be a distraction.

    Loved your other book!!

  137. Matthew September 13, 2010 at 4:07 PM #

    I know sometimes the worship leader picks songs I don’t necessarily agree with or songs written by corrupt bands. And so I sometimes refrain from singing. But then I remember 1 Thessalonians 5 where it says to “not quench the spirit” and to examine everything carefully and hold fast to what is good.”

    Am I quenching the Holy Spirit when I choose to refrain from singing because of the bad song? Am I examining it carefully as I should?

  138. Peter December 1, 2010 at 10:11 PM #

    How should we view raising our hands or clapping or being expressive as a congregation? My Pastor says that we are not a church that raises their hand when we sing praise. Is it a neutral point and maybe we shouldn’t focus so much on it, or are we trumping our expression towards God?

  139. Andrew Lucius March 24, 2011 at 5:21 PM #

    Can we expect your second book to be available at Worship God 2011? I am really looking forward to reading it!

    • Bob Kauflin March 24, 2011 at 11:58 PM #

      Andrew, thanks for asking. Unfortunately, my plans to have the book at WorshipGod11 were waylaid by other projects. Hopefully, I’ll have it WorshipGod13!

  140. Brad Copp July 14, 2011 at 11:33 PM #

    1. How can I worship on the other six days when the band is not around?
    2. What is the connection between what we do on Sunday Morning and the rest of my life?

  141. Neill May 27, 2013 at 10:11 PM #

    Any chance this is still happening? Maybe even available at WG13?

    • Bob Kauflin May 28, 2013 at 12:36 AM #

      Neill, thanks for asking. I’m writing now, but it will be available some time in 2014, Lord willing!

  142. Neill May 29, 2013 at 2:21 PM #

    Sounds good! I’m excited to read it, and prayerfully experience some fruit in our congregation from it.

    One thing I’ve noticed about our church is a disturbing disparity in the singing times between our two Sunday afternoon services. I don’t think all the godly people who like to sing loud conspired to attend the second service, but for some reason, the singing is always twice as loud in the second service even though there are literally half the people in attendance at that service. I know it’s not healthy to be overly dependent on “results” when leading worship, but when there is such a consistently striking difference, I have to wonder. Also, as the leader, I know I need to take care of the log in my own eye, so I’ll assume that it’s primarily a shepherding issue. Just wish I knew exactly what the issue is.

    Anyway, I don’t know if this “first service syndrome” is common, but I’d love to hear an experienced opinion on it, whether it’s in the new book or not.

  143. Brandon Miller June 13, 2013 at 7:53 PM #

    Dr. Kaufflin,

    My main struggle with worshipping through song (besides my own sinful heart) is:

    * Lyrical content

    – Especially “I will” statements/promises to God which we cannot possibly keep.

    Ex: ” Where you go I’ll go, when you move I’ll move,…I will follow you”…

    I’m not trying to throw Tomlin under the bus either. He has been a blessing to the church; having written many sound songs for congregations to sing across the globe.

    – I’m just using his song as an example. They’re certainly well-intended lyrics; but they’re actually promising God 100% prefect obedience; something I know I can’t sing and mean it (I can’t help but think of Peter’s fleshy confidence in Mark 14:26-31-and we all know how that turned out!).

    Thus, perhaps a chapter on:

    “Do the Words we Sing Really Matter?”

    and maybe also address:

    “What to do if your Church is Singing Fluff– without imposing on leadership & disrupting unity”

    Again, not trying to knock Tomlin; just wanted to express my concerns with the lyrical content we sing on Sundays.

    Thanks for your time and consideration,

  144. Jen August 8, 2014 at 8:53 AM #

    I agree with Brandon “what if your church is singing fluff?” etc.
    Getting kids involved would be an interesting one to address- without making the music tacky.
    What if some of the singers can’t sing all that well? (and your church does not “audition” them and is not likely to in future).
    I am halfway through Worship Matters- awesome, inspiring, solid. Exactly what I needed to read.


  1. Worship Matters – take 2 « Monyhull Blog - March 7, 2010

    […] the exciting news from Bob’s blog, Worship Matters, is that he’s writing a new book!  This one’s going to be shorter and will focus on […]

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