I’m very excited to announce to my readers that I’ve got a book coming down the pipeline. I’m joining forces with a great team of folks over at Zondervan to deliver a project that has been on my heart for quite a while.
The Back Story
For the last five years, I’ve been thinking long and hard about my own journey as a worship leader, and I’ve been thinking a lot of those thoughts out loud on this blog. I’ve been throwing ideas onto the wall, and in many ways, you all–my readers–have been a major help in figuring out what is truly sticking.
My own vocational journey started out as a confused, schizophrenic biography. Since my teenage years, I had sensed a strong call to pastoral ministry, and I had always thought that this call would take the shape of everything else I’d seen: preaching, teaching, visitation, leadership, weddings, funerals, etc. But, God kept on providentially shoving me down the “worship leader” road, and I kept asking Him, “So, when am I going to be able to become a pastor?” Several years ago the realization came, “I AM one, right where I am, doing just what I’m doing.”
And then I started having conversations with other worship leaders who were sniffing out the same ideas in their own callings. But there was very little out there (either educationally or resource-wise) that helped us flesh out what it means for worship leaders to take seriously a pastoral call in their vocation. So we reflected together and informally learned from one another. A few years ago, I started putting those reflections down on paper and keeping a kind of “hopper” for these ideas to get dumped into. The hopper grew and grew, and I not long ago sat down to organize those tossed-in thoughts. I realized I had a pretty comprehensive outline. And, more importantly, I began to realize that God was giving me something to say that just might be helpful for some other brothers and sisters.
What the Book is About
And now I’m here. Somewhere in mid-to-late 2016, we should, Lord-willing, see a book called, The Worship Pastor hit the scene. The hope for The Worship Pastor is that it helps worship leaders flesh out just how their jobs are already a pastoral ministry and equip them to do it better. It’s something that I hope both colleges/seminaries can use as an introductory resource and worship leaders can easily pick up and find a use for (that’s going to be a tension I will be working hard to straddle…substantive enough for institutions, accessible enough for people without much formal training).
Each chapter will be a vignette, a kind of metaphor for the worship leader’s pastoral life. I’ll tackle subjects such as the Worship Pastor as…
- Emotional Shepherd
- Prophetic Guardian
- Theological Dietician
- Mortician (yup, that’s right…if my book had a soundtrack, this would be where the Scandanavian Death Metal gets played…face-melt)
I’ll share a lot of stories about the good, the bad, and the ugly in my own road of worship leading, and hopefully the book will provide a lot of hope for worship leaders on all points of the journey. My desire is that The Worship Pastor might set a lot of young worship leaders on the right path. At the same time, I hope that the book might provide a renewed vision for worship leaders who have been in the trenches for quite a while and need some fresh inspiration.
Why Am I Telling You This?
So…given that the book is quite a long ways away from being in print, why in the world am I telling you about it now? First, I’m just excited. Second, I invite you to pray with and for me. You all have been such a big encouragement to me, and you’re actually probably the main reason I’m writing this thing. Third, I’m going to be pouring a lot of my energies into writing, which means less time for blogging, and I wanted you to know why. The posts will continue to come, but they probably won’t be as frequent.
I’m already learning how different a book project is from blogging. Each writing medium has its own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to the exchange of ideas. Writing a book with a team of editors requires a lot more discipline and provides a lot more accountability. For those reasons, I think this will be some of my best writing and integrative thinking to date. I can’t wait to see what’s on the other side of all this. All in all, God has really paved the way, so I’m stepping into this new facet of my call.
I Want Your Thoughts…RIGHT NOW
The fourth reason I’m telling you this is that your feedback has been invaluable to me over the years. It’s sharpened my thinking, and many times it’s redirected my heart to new and better places. So…I want your feedback. As I write on the topic of pastoring through worship leading,
- What topics do you hope are addressed?
- What have YOU learned that you wish someone had told you earlier?
- Where, in your estimation, are the pastoral blind spots for worship leaders?
- What are things I have said in the past which have been helpful or real “aha” moments for you?
- What are things I have said in the past which need sharpening, correction, or clarification?
And…finally…some of these topics are sensitive or too long for blog comments. So…shoot me an email, too, at firstname.lastname@example.org. I welcome your help in making this book as helpful as possible for Jesus’ Church.