Every time I run a workshop, I end up quoting or directing people to some talks, blogs, articles and books that I've found really helpful recently as I've explored some of the issues around music and worship. So I thought I'd list some of them down here...
There's been a few talks from the Sovereign Grace Worship God conference that I attended last year that I've been really dwelling on and learning from - particularly thinking about how we serve, and the role music and singing plays in preparing and equipping people to respond in worship in all of life...and particularly in the hard times. I've linked the blog summary of the event on Bob Kauflin's Worshipmatters blog (as always, there's heaps of other great articles there, so its worth looking around) and the two particular talks that have impacted me.
While we're talking about Bob, this talk he gave at the TWIST conference in Sydney a few years ago is GOLD. Pastoring through song.
Another blog I've found really helpful is from Zac Hicks - Zac is the Worship Pastor at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, and a very regular - and always insightful - blogger! In particular, I found this post about the danger of letting our bands do the 'worshipping' for us really challenging - A Reason to Be Suspicious of Worship Bands
While in the States, I picked up this book. Its worth a read just for the first few chapters, which traces out the story of God gathering a community of loving worshippers - from before time began and to all eternity. It is beautifully written, concise, and is a great place to start if you're exploring the big picture of worship, as Cosper draws from a bunch of other helpful books and articles that you could move on to.
This is a book I'm currently in the middle of...and need to go back to the start and work though slowly again - there's so much rich content packed in on each page! Peterson's book Engaging with God is a thorough exploration of the 'big picture' of worship. Encountering God together - as you've probably worked out - narrows the focus down to our worship gatherings. In particular, the chapter on edification had a few lightbulb moments for me. I'll post again about it once I'm through...
The other book I'm in the middle of (yep...I'm one of those 'pile of books all half read' readers) is Delighting in the Trinity. Like me, you may have been tempted to place the triune nature and character of our God into the theological 'too hard' basket...impossible to understand, even harder to explain, and maybe not a critical factor in my faith. If that's you, you need to read this book! Reeves not only shows the importance of understanding and relating to our God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but writes with a infectious joy in these truths! Again, I'll post again once I'm through it!
Anyway, I hope that you might find some of these helpful. And please, keep the conversation going...I'd love to know what you've got lots out of recently?