This new book on worship by renowned hymn writer and professor Ruth C. Duck provides theological foundations for worship and explores the variety of ways Christians have adapted worship to various cultures to help them live faithfully and to communicate the Gospel to others. The author celebrates the many languages and cultural settings in which the Gospel has been, and is, preached, sung, and prayed. The goal of this volume is to support good pastoral and congregational reflection on what worship is and does. Consequently, Duck discusses many different forms of worship from several cultures (African-American, Asian, Euro-American) and offers advice on how to read a congregation and define its culture in order to plan culturally appropriate worship. Although the book does not offer prescriptive formulas or advise a single pattern of worship, it includes many practical suggestions for preparing and leading worship, including diverse ministries of music, movement, and visual arts that are becoming more popular today.
From worship's theological underpinnings, the book turns to worship leadership, forms of prayer, preaching, the sacraments, ordination, and various liturgies. Because of its emphasis on Spirit-led worship, this comprehensive book on Christian worship will be used for years to come not only as a core textbook for seminarians and ministry students from a variety of cultures and traditions, but also as a resource for local church pastors and laity who are dedicated to the enlivening of Christian worship.