Recently I began a study on music and worship in preparation for a talk for a class at church.

My background includes teaching music at a Christian College (including classes in church music plus lots of other stuff) and involvement in church music since a boy, so the topic was not new to me. In addition, I had studied various passages on music and worship in the Bible over the years, and felt a good grasp of the topic.

My starting point for the new study was the D.Min. Dissertation of Dan Collison.  I had worked with Dan at Wooddale Church, playing in the band and absorbing the contemporary worship experience. Yet, Dan’s dissertation reflected a change from  worship evangelism to a missional approach. Dan then left Wooddale, and is currently serving as Lead Pastor of First Covenant church in Minneapolis.

In any case, I really liked Dan’s bibliography and his conclusions on the worship topic. Unfortunately, the dissertation is no longer available online, so I can’t refer readers to it. In short, Dan proposed a multi-stylistic approach to the music, using whichever one or more of 6 “streams” would deepen a congregation’s worship experience. The 6 streams come from Paul Basden’s Exploring the Worship Spectrum: 6 Views. The streams include: Formal-liturgical, Traditional hymn-based, Contemporary music-driven, Charismatic, Blended, and Emerging. Of course there’s much more to the dissertation than this one point – if interested, you could track down Dan at First Covenant in Minneapolis.

Since, I have developed my own reading list. You can access it here:

Click to access book_list.pdf

For more about the missional topic, check out this page:

From the book list, I found The Complete Library of Christian Worship, edited by Robert Webber to be a terrific resource, as well as other Webber books. Since Dr. Webber held an endowed chair at Northern Seminary his last years, he wrote prolifically, and left a great legacy for the rest of us, as well as an array of excellent tools for worship and worship renewal.

In any case, the study continues, with the findings shared here. The first is Musical Warfare and has nothing to do with the band with the same name.

Go to Musical Warfare article


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