Review of The Next Worship, by Sandra Van Opstal

Zac HicksBook ReviewsLeave a Comment

I currently serve in a context of tremendous diversity. In the market just two blocks from my house, I regularly hear five different languages—English, Spanish, Portuguese, Creole, and French—and more infrequently hear at least another three. The church I serve doesn’t yet look like our city, but it’s making strides. When I arrived in South Florida over three years ago, I knew that praying through how to engage worship in this diverse climate would need to be on the top … Read More

Worship Book Roundup, 2013-2014

Zac HicksBook Reviews, Worship Resources3 Comments

Not every worship leader is built to be a voracious reader, however it’s still important for worship leaders to be worship readers, in some form or fashion. In this post, I want to highlight some of the books that have inspired, aided, and encouraged my ministry of worship pastoring in 2013. Then I want to talk about books I hope to read and books I have my eye on. GREAT READS FROM 2013 Robbie Castleman, Story-Shaped Worship A deep, sweeping … Read More

Why Worship Leaders Aren’t Rock Stars – FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY

Zac HicksBook Reviews4 Comments

The Latest, Greatest Worship Leader 101 Manual A few months ago a fabulous worship book came out, and I finally had a chance to sit down and read it. Many young (and older) worship leaders aren’t the “reading” type. Big books over 150 pages are intimidating and tiresome. Sometimes they’re discouragingly “deep” without enough practical application. Until this year, it would have been hard for me to recommend a good starting place for a worship leader in this camp. Many … Read More

Worship Reading Goals for 2012

Zac HicksBook Reviews, Worship Resources, Worship Theology & Thought5 Comments

Worship leaders should be worship readers, so here’s my ambitious list for 2012 (off the heels of what I have read in 2011).  These are the books I want to focus on in the field of worship, but they won’t be the only things I read.  In fact, I want to take seriously C. S. Lewis’s admonishment to read one old book for every new one.  These are all relatively new books, and though I won’t read as many old … Read More

My Favorite Worship Reads from 2011

Zac HicksBook Reviews, Worship Resources, Worship Theology & Thought2 Comments

The beginning of 2011, for me, was largely about getting a recording out the door.  Halfway through, I picked up a few books, and I’ll mention the ones that had the most impact in the area of worship, music, & arts.  I’ll post my anticipated reads for 2012 later this week.

**If you’re a pastor, worship leader, or worship thinker, I’d love to know what books, articles, or other works influenced you this past year.  Please share!**


John Jefferson Davis, Worship and the Reality of God: An Evangelical Theology of Real Presence (2010)

This one lit a fire under me, and I’ve been challenging others I know to read it.  Its central thesis: evangelical worship needs to recover a sense that God is truly present among us in a unique way when we gather for worship.  It not only diagnoses the historical and theological reasons why evangelical worship lacks a sense of God’s real presence, it proposes very helpful solutions to the problem.  It is my number-one recommendation to my readership.  If you can only read one book on worship this year, read this one.

Review of Worship Words, by Debra Rienstra and Ron Rienstra

Zac HicksAlbum Reviews, Book Reviews, Worship Theology & ThoughtLeave a Comment

Rienstra, Debra, and Ron Rienstra. Worship Words: Discipling Language for Faithful Ministry. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2009.  $22.99.  286 pp.  ISBN 978-0-8010-3616-3 (skip to the Conclusion) The authors each bring unique contribution from their area of expertise.  Debra Rienstra teaches English at Calvin College, and she therefore offers the penetrating linguistic insights.  Ron Rienstra teaches preaching and worship at Western Theological Seminary.  What is meant by the phrase “worship words” is clear from the stated purpose: “to help pastors and worship … Read More

Review of Christ-Centered Worship, by Bryan Chapell

Zac HicksBook Reviews1 Comment

Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Worship: Letting the Gospel Shape Our Practice.  Grand Rapids: Baker, 2009.  $24.99.  320 pp.  ISBN 978-0-8010-3640-8 People in my generation and down are prone to exaggeration.  It’s part of our cultural ethos.  “That was the awesomest thing I’ve ever seen.”  “That was the nastiest thing I’ve ever tasted.”  “That was like a million times worse than anything I’ve experienced before.”  So in light of my generation’s over-indulgence in superlatives, I preface what I am about to say … Read More