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Planning Blended Worship: The Creative Mixture of Old and New Paperback – October 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0687032237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0687032235
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #793,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

2001 Robert Webber is President of The Institute for Worship-Studies, affiliated with Wheaton Graduate School in Wheaton, Illinois, and Myers Professor of Ministry, Northern Seminary, Lombard, Ill. He has written more than a dozen books on worship (and other topics) and was the editor of The Complete Library of Christian Worship. He is active in the North American Academy of Liturgy.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mark S Krenz on September 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book by Robert Webber was very insightful. Written for immediate application and practice by worship leaders, it was helpful in understanding true blended worship. Blended worship is more than singing both hymns and choruses, or having a band and a choir. Blended worship merges the rich tradition of the faith in its worship practices with contemporary culture. Webber effectively expounds the fourfold pattern of worship for today's church.
I was especially encouraged by the effectiveness of creating opportunities for participation throughout a service. So many elements of our worship allow the worshipper to be a passive recipient instead of an active participant. Much can be gained from the richness and depth of true blended worship which Webber not only talks about, but gives practical guidance for. Below I will list three thesis that I found useful from this text.
First, in the 1990's two forms of worship renewal, liturgical and contemporary merged into what is now called "blended worship." Blended worship is characterized by three concerns: "first, to be rooted in the biblical early church tradition; Second, to draw from the resources of the entire church; and third, a radical commitment to contemporary relevance (16)."
Second, in planning worship a distinction must be made between content, structure, and style. The content is unchanging. It is always about the triune God. The structure is the established fourfold pattern of Gathering, the Word, Thanksgiving and Dismissal, practiced since the early church. While the content and structure of worship remain fixed, the style is always changing. "There is no one style of worship that is suitable for all people always and everywhere (21).
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Michael D. Hone on September 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
In recent years we have witnessed a seismic shift from an emphasis on dynamic preaching (sermon-driven service) to dynamic music and worship (worship-driven service). Additionally we have seen the rise of contemporary worship in the life of the church. "Planning Blended Worship" by Robert Webber is a guide which helps congregational worship leaders plan worship in a create manner, mixing and blending the old and the new together.
Webber believes that effective worship can blend the traditional fourfold pattern of worship (gathering, word, table, and dismissal) with the free-flowing forms found in many churches today. He believes that blended worship is characterized by three concerns: "to be rooted in the biblical and early church traditions; to draw from the resources of the entire church; and a radical commitment to contemporary relevance" (1998:16). Each chapter includes helpful charts and diagrams and a concluding ?guideline? section allows the reader to personally work through the preceding material.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Randal R. Huber on August 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you are interested in how you can practically integrate contemporary worship elements with traditional worship forms and structures, Planning Blended Worship is for you. Webber is the guru of worship with a broad breadth of knowledge and insight. In Planning Blended Worship, Webber notes that Christians in America once sought the best preaching. Now they seek the best worship. Worship is the "center of the hourglass". "Everything the church does moves toward public worship and all its ministries proceed from worship" (1998:29). Webber argues that protestant worship renewal is moving in the direction of restoring the fourfold structure of gathering together, hearing the Word, responding with thanksgiving and being commissioned forth into the world (1998:15). He argues that blended worship is characterized by three primary concerns: to be rooted in biblical and early church traditions, to draw from the resources of the entire church and a commitment to contemporary relevance. Utilizing his excellent knowledge of traditional, biblical and contemporary worship practice and theology, Webber draws together numerous practical resources. Following Webber's practical planning guidelines, these resources when used creatively and with variation can make blended worship awesome.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rand York on September 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Webber's thesis for this book, while not specifically stated as such, seems to be that Protestant churches (for they are his intended audience) would do well to reclaim those portions of the baby that the Reformers threw out with the bathwater. Indeed, the baby herself is not in need of discarding, but rather in need of semper reformada ("always reforming"). In Webber's presentation, we find that traditional worship is not something dead to be handed down, but something living to be handed over. We find contemporary worship discovering its fulfillment not in emotions, but in the Creator. And so, we find blended worship can be a living celebration of the Creator of all, and a celebration of our relationship with him as we tell and enact the Great Story. As we are told in the Westminster Catechism, "Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever." Aside from sporting what is arguably the most garish book cover in the history of Christian publishing, Planning Blended Worship is an outstanding and very readable book. It does need an index, but everything else is on the plus side Overall, this is Webber at his best, pointing us once again toward the ancient future.
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