In a perfect world we might expect that all worshipers would be ready for a worship service of thorough praise and adoration. But that is not the case. Those who come for worship bring with them all the cares, anxieties, and stresses of life in this broken world. All are needy people. Some will find help for those needs in the pastor's office during a one-on-one conversation; some may find it in a pastoral call; but many will never experience either of those. The opportunity to minister to their needs will occur during that special time when all are gathered for worship. The sermon has received much attention as the avenue for help with their hurts, but what about the liturgy? This book takes a new and fresh look at the worship liturgy. It insists that the liturgy, regardless of denomination or style, is not merely preparatory to the main event--the sermon--but is rather the time in which the worshiper can be healthily cared for. The worshiper who comes before the face of God should be able to expect help, care, and healing. Blessed are the Pastors and worship planners who develop a sensitive concern for the care that worshipers come expecting. ""'Wise is the worship leader who . . .' is the refrain throughout this book and it is most apt. Howard Vanderwell has written a wise book, chock-full of pastoral tenderness. Yes, when we worship, our focus is on God not ourselves. Yet, the God we worship became flesh so he could care for us at eye level. Vanderwell ably moves us toward this caring presence of Christ in worship."" --Scott Hoezee, Director of the Center for Excellence in Preaching, Calvin Theological Seminary ""To all persons involved in worship planning: treasure this book. In short, but impactful chapters an experienced pastor, Howard Vanderwell, provides insight that is practically focused and theologically rooted. Instead of seeing pastoral care as something that happens occasionally within a service, Vanderwell links pastoral care to every element of a service. Whatever the worship style of your church, you will find guidance and multiple examples for the care of souls."" --Rev. Jul Medenblik, President of Calvin Theological Seminary Howard Vanderwell has served as a pastor for over forty years in Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan. Currently he serves as a Resource Specialist of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and as Adjunct Professor of Worship at Calvin Theological Seminary.
Howard Vanderwell has served as a pastor for over forty years in Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan. Currently he serves as a Resource Specialist of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and as Adjunct Professor of Worship at Calvin Theological Seminary.
John D. Witvliet is director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and teaches theology, worship, music, and congregational studies at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary. His books include Worship Seeking Understanding: Windows into Chr