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The Art of Curating Worship: Reshaping the Role of Worship Leader Paperback – November 15, 2010
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'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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Great for learning station-based worship.
Lots of examples and plenty of "things to think about", but it won't give you much "step 1, step 2, step 3" ideas.
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.
As one who focuses on the visual layer of worship events, I really connected with Mark's thought on being a "maker of context" rather than just a "presenter of content". There is so much more to leading worship than singing songs from a stage and running slides with pretty backgrounds! This book has given me a new framework for creativity and has opened my eyes to new possibilities for worship.
Not only is this one of the most amazing books I have ever read, but I know Mark personally, and he has become one of my favorite people ever. He is an amazing friend and mentor!
visual worship curator - worshipVJ.com
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.
The basic premise of the book is Pierson's reshaping of the role of a worship leader, from a song leader, to a leader of the community engaging worship in a more experiential way. He turns the worship gathering from a song and sermon event to an experiential event that engages people on multiple levels.
What I like about Pierson is that he focuses on the need for the church, if it is to actually emerge, must ask deeper and harder questions of itself. He writes on page 17, "My concern now is that the emerging-church movement isn't asking deep enough questions about its practice."
This is a good book for pastors and leaders who want to engage emerging generations either in new works or in bringing change to existing churches. Pierson won't just let you make surface changes, he'll walk you through some questions that have to be asked in order to make the philosophical shifts that will make your worship authentic to the people God gathers.