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The Art of Curating Worship: Reshaping the Role of Worship Leader Paperback – November 15, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'This book is inspiring, exciting and should be in the hands of everyone who contributes to any sort of worship.' -- Mirand Threlfall-Holmes, Christianity magazine --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Mark Pierson is a registered minister of the Baptist family of Churches in New Zealand. He regularly curates worship for conferences and churches. Mark has led many seminars on worship curaton in the USA, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and other parts of Europe.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Sparkhouse Press (November 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451400845
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451400847
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #543,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mark Pierson doesn't just talk about what it is to curate worship. This well written and thorough book blends theory, theology, practical advice, ideas, examples and challenges in a very humble and vulnerably honest way.

It is a very personal book, written by a very wise and intuitive man of God. He shares thoughtful stories illuminating the process of creating significant, transformative worship experiences. He asks critical questions. He leaves room for exploration, imagination and reflection.

Mark has written this book the same way he would curate a worship event that allows the participant to encounter and draw into a deeper relationship with God. This book is Christocentric. It is inspiring, encouraging and will have a profound effect on your ministry.

Every church leader, pastor, worship leader/curator, and church member that aspires to participate in an authentic community of Christ should read this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If nothing else, "The Art of Curating Worship" will stretch you as a worship leader. I've been leading worship in church settings for 11 years, and I've never considered half the stuff Mark brings up in this book.

He encourages you to think outside the usual Sunday morning "worship" standard of singing songs led by a band (or choir or orchestra), simple media presentation, sermon, announcements, etc. He's heavily influenced by art itself, and suggests incorporating that into our worship. Use various stations around a room (or outside) where people can spend time meditating, following instructions you give them. Stations can be pieces of artwork to reflect upon, communion tables, drawing stations, listening stations, and whatever else you and your team and come up with.

Mark does a great job of warning against simply copying the ideas in the book. Rather, he says let those ideas inspire you to come up with your own ideas that fit your specific congregational context. His whole point is to engage the congregation in hands-on, interactive, experiential worship. Just transplanting a curation that worked well in New Zealand into your Southern Baptist traditional church could have disastrous effects. That's why it's so important to know your congregation and what they're ready for. But with that said, don't be afraid to stretch them either.

So I would say this is a must read for every worship leader. It'll definitely stretch your preconceived ideas of what effective worship leading is, even if you don't agree with his philosophy. Take what you can from it, as not all of it (or in some cases, most of it) will be applicable to your church or situation. Let it inspire you to reconsider how you lead worship and engage your congregation in experiencing worship, even if you never curate a single art installation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a lay leader considering how to shape a youth worship service, and a lay leader concerned about stagnation in the regular service, I found this book exciting and fascinating. The book alternates between laying out a theological argument for experiential worship (that sounds dull -- it's not at all) and describing the practical side of worship curation. I found the curation part less compelling, perhaps just because it is so far beyond our congregational practice. He does a good job reminding the reader that "all worship is local" (ie, you have to tailor your worship to your congregation), which means I need to start a LONG way from his inspiring but sometimes strange examples. It would be helpful for me if he had included more "first steps" ideas. But it certainly got the creative juices flowing. His writing style is breezy and easy to read, his examples inspiring, and he is determined in his position that curation is applicable to ALL variations of the Christian faith. I appreciate his not taking the book as an opportunity to advocate for his particular spin on Christianity. All in all, I found it eye opening and enjoyable.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Pierson invites those of us who plan worship to consider ourselves as artists whose medium is worship, and to see artists within and beyond the church as catalysts for a new way of seeing, incarnating, and experiencing the presence of the holy (perhaps even the presence of God) in the fabric of life. He spells out the lexicon and practical, hands-on understanding of worship curation in a way that Jonny Baker (in his very fine interview/anthology "Curating Worship") does not, although I think Baker's book goes much farther in introducing neophytes like me to the breadth and diversity of worship curation, collaboration, and rationale. Pierson's book is filled with practical, useful testimony.

Another reviewer expressed a problem with Pierson's example of repeatedly using water instead of wine or grape juice for communion/Eucharist in various worship settings. Pierson also repeatedly stresses the importance of respecting the context of the worshipping community in curating worship. That means the worshipping community that already attends worship, at least to begin with, and some of the most vocal critics of worship creativity (change) and innovation (although Pierson encourages curators not to submit to the tyranny of these lowest common denominators, even as we listen to them and make space for them). In short, Pierson does not advocate changing wine or juice into water for everyone, but uses this element as a real world example of the kind of change curation can employ.

Pierson's book is filled with practical examples and suggestions for expanding the role or worship leader beyond solo performance to community (Pentecostal) collaboration, in the spirit of Paul's description of worship in 1 Corinthians 14:26ff.
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