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The Next Worship: Glorifying God in a Diverse World by [Van Opstal, Sandra Maria]

The Next Worship: Glorifying God in a Diverse World Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"The Next Worship is an important book for our increasingly diverse church. Writing as a practitioner and theologian, Sandra Van Opstal employs the extended metaphor of the table to describe the rich fellowship of diverse worship. Drawing on deep biblical study and years of personal experience, Van Opstal moves us to stand with our diverse congregations in postures of hospitality ('we welcome you'), solidarity ('we stand with you') and mutuality ('we need you'). Not at all naïve, this book acknowledges the tensions and challenges of diverse worship as well as its opportunities. Van Opstal skillfully guides us through processes of change, the necessity of shared leadership and the challenges and joys of training other leaders for this task. This is a needed book, not only by worship leaders but also by pastors, elders and every Christian who longs to enter into and to rehearse the ultimate diverse worship of the new heavens and the new earth." (Steven C. Roy, associate professor of pastoral theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)

"All Christians are on a journey toward God's multicultural kingdom. We live in a remarkable time of opportunity for growth in understanding and shared practices across cultures. Drawing on years of creative leadership in a variety of contexts, Sandra Van Opstal offers us testimonies, tools and insights to inform the next steps in our own journeys of growth and sanctification. May God use this book to break down barriers and strengthen intercultural bonds of many worshiping communities!" (John Witvliet, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary)

"What Sandra Van Opstal does so importantly here is to help make the arc of this worship transformation clear and practicable. Out of her life experience and rich ministry background, Sandra does for us here what she has done over the years for many of those she has led as worship teams and as worshipers. This book is a vital gift for a changing church that needs to reflect the God of all the nations." (From the foreword by Mark Labberton, president, Fuller Theological Seminary, author, The Dangerous Act of Worship)

"The Next Worship argues persuasively that achieving unity in worship requires taking diversity seriously. At once prophetic and pastoral, the book presents a set of principles for navigating the complexities of race, ethnicity and culture within congregational worship. Van Opstal calls worship leaders to be anthropologists as well as theologians: self-aware students of culture who engage in critical reflection about their contexts, who take responsibility for interpreting their actions and who summon the courage and humility to truly collaborate. Van Opstal's writing models her leadership strategy―accounts from her own experience through the years are enriched by perspectives from a number of key leaders and scholars. Though its account is ultimately hopeful, the book does not downplay the difficulties inherent in building worshiping congregations across lines of cultural difference. Rather, it shows that coming together across these differences will frequently lead to tension, discomfort and sometimes pain. A commitment to working together through these issues is key to developing the kinds of relationships that characterize the coming kingdom. The Next Worship makes a compelling argument that building worshipping communities across lines of division cannot be a niche interest. Rather, engaging diverse perspectives and learning to share authority must become priorities for all Christ-followers interested in the continued life and health of the church." (Monique Ingalls, professor of church music, Baylor University)

"We have lost the language of love in our worship―love for God and love for our neighbor. This is a book for those who want to recover these loves by practicing reconciliation in worship. The Next Worship shows us how to love God and love our neighbor practically in worship, specifically by sharing leadership and guiding others in change. Through her personal relationships and experience in community Sandra teaches us to create spaces of hospitality, solidarity and mutuality through worship. I highly recommend this book, having experienced Sandra's leadership and knowing the wealth she has crossing cultures domestically and globally." (John Perkins, cofounder, CCDA, founder, John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation)

"For those of us who are committed to the work of Christian community development in vulnerable neighborhoods, being rooted in a faith community with an expression of worship that is rooted in our struggle for justice and reconciliation is essential. Sandra's new book, The Next Worship: Glorifying God in a Diverse World, provides a much needed resource for leaders who are committed to crafting worship experiences rooted in diversity." (Noel Castellanos, CEO and president, CCDA)

"One of most significant challenges for the next era of evangelicalism is developing unity in the worship life of a multicultural Christian community. Sandra Van Opstal recognizes that multicultural worship is a long journey with many bumps along the way―there are no simple and easy answers. In The Next Worship, Sandra puts forth key principles and helpful models that should inspire us to pursue this noble goal. This book may well become the essential text that helps multiethnic churches turn the corner in their worship life." (Soong-Chan Rah, Milton B. Engebretson Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism, North Park Theological Seminary, author of The Next Evangelicalism and Prophetic Lament)

"If we worship leaders are taking our pastoral roles seriously, one of our jobs is to prepare our churches for heaven's worship where all nations are gathered. This book inspires, encourages and teaches how to do just that!" (Zac Hicks, recording artist, pastor of worship at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

"Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lamented that one of the most segregated hours is eleven o'clock on Sunday morning, when the church gathers for worship. Sandra Van Opstal offers a fresh vision where the church reflects the diversity of God's kingdom rather than conforming to the patterns of segregation. The Next Worship reminds us that unity is not about uniformity, but about harmonizing rather than homogenizing. Van Opstal reminds us that what may be just as important as how we worship is who we worship with. This is a beautiful book." (Shane Claiborne, author and activist, codirector, Red Letter Christians, founder, The Simple Way)

"While acknowledging that inclusive worship will look different in each congregational context, The Next Worship shows how we can move toward gathered worship that 'points to the future celebration of God's people from every tribe, tongue, people and language.' Besides being full of stories acknowledging the challenges of multiethnic worship, this immensely practical volume also provides hope and how-to advice for preparing (sometimes reluctant) congregations to worship in ways that connect them with the global church in their community and abroad. In a refreshingly broad approach, Sandra Van Opstal goes beyond discussions of music styles to explore what multiethnic worship might look like in Scripture reading, prayers, other arts, the Lord's Supper, the teaching of the Word and more. Furthermore, her own rich experience in mentoring worship leaders has given her keen insight regarding collaborative service planning and the development of diverse worship leadership. The summaries of key concepts at the end of each chapter along with probing questions for reflection and discussion make this a vital resource for pastors, worship leaders, worship planning committees and training programs." (Robin P. Harris, director, Center for Excellence in World Arts at GIAL, president, International Council of Ethnodoxologists)

About the Author

Sandra Maria Van Opstal (MDiv, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is a Chicago-born, second-generation Latina and a leading practitioner of multiethnic worship. A preacher, trainer, liturgist and activist, she is passionate about creating atmospheres that mobilize for reconciliation and justice. She served as the worship director for the Urbana Student Missions Conference and has led worship for the Willow Creek Association, the Christian Community Development Association, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, the Evangelical Covenant Church and the Evangelical Immigration Table. Sandra regularly consults as both a worship leader and a mission trainer with Christian colleges, conferences and local churches, and she serves on the board of Evangelicals 4 Justice. She and her husband Karl minister at Grace and Peace Community in Chicago, and she is the author of The Mission of Worship.

Product details

  • File Size: 16270 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (January 8, 2016)
  • Publication Date: January 8, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01BDW9AF4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #493,698 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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