Just a short post to announce the release of my third book, Before We Gather. It’s a collection of devotions, specifically for worship leaders to use with teams, for pastors to use with their churches, or for individual worshipers to grow deeper in their journey in becoming a full-hearted worshiper of God. Before We Gather has a more specific target than most other worship devotionals out there. Other devotionals on worship encourage individual, private worship (which is great!). This devotional is intended to help individuals and teams prepare for weekly, gathered worship. What I’ve found, when I’ve engaged in pre-service devotions and prayer, is that I’m more attuned to the Spirit’s work in the worship service, and I’m more expectant of what the Lord will do because of his promises in his Word about what worship is and does. I’ve also found, over time, that pre-service Scripture and prayer changes the atmosphere of the event of gathered worship, itself.
Each devotion has three parts: (1) Scripture passage; (2) Devotion; (3) Prayer prompts (usually 4 to 5 bullet points), and can be done as an individual or in a group in about 15-20 minutes total.
The book is customizable. Many are already discovering all the helpful indexes in the back. You can jump around the devotional in all kinds of ways. There is a Bible index in case you want to match the devotion with what is being read, preached on, or focused on in your service. There is a Topic index so that you can pair the devotion with a specific theme that your service may be highlighting. There is a Christian Calendar index, to pair devotions with the liturgical seasons of the Church year. And there’s even an index to pair devotionals with chapters in The Worship Pastor.
Additionally, Scott Lavender of CityAlight wrote a wonderful foreword about the book and the power of those kinds of practices.