Reinventing Sunday: Breakthrough Ideas for Transforming WorshipReinventing Sunday: Breakthrough Ideas for Transforming Worship
Brad Berglund
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Break out of the box and lead your congregation to new heights of creative worship. Dusting off time-honored traditions and suggesting brand-new ones, Berglund offers a wealth of hands-on ideas to help you revitalize every aspect of the church service---from gathering and greeting to singing, Scripture reading, preaching, communion, giving, and more. 123 pages, softcover from Judson.

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Reinventing Sunday: Breakthrough Ideas for Transforming Worship

Brad Berglund

Valley Forge, PA. Judson Press 2001

This new entry on the expanding shelf of books on worship seeks to provide inspiration and practical resources for those who regularly lead worship. Drawing on a wide range of traditions and practices, author Berglund hopes to support readers "in breathing life into your weekly ritual" (p. xvii). He brings seven assumptions to the subject at hand (pp. xvii-xviii):

1. Worship should be offered to God as worship, not as evangelism or Christian education.
2. Worship is what worshipers do for God.
3. Worship leaders are not performers but prompters of those in the pew.
4. Worship can transform our lives and make us more faithful.
5. Worship should activate our whole self, including our bodies/
6. God-centered worship expands our souls.
7. Worship is a weekly mini pilgrimage, an adventure into the unknown. Robert Webbers emphasis on the fourfold movement of worship (gathering of the people, service of the Word, responding in gratitude, going out to serve) gives Berglund's handbook its structure, augmented by prelude and postlude.

Each section expands on one of the assumptions and offers practical suggestions for worshipers and worship leaders alike. Berglund~ years of experience as a pastor and worship leader, supported by an undergraduate degree in music and training for spiritual direction, contribute depth and breadth to his understanding. He addresses the stresses and storms surrounding worship today.

In one of the most valuable portions of the book, "The Modulating Church," the author tackles the challenges of bringing a key change in worship to the congregation. His well-considered suggestions correct some of the market-mentality aberrations that afflict churches today. "Is the motto of the church The customer is always right'? Worshipers are not clients. Churches are in the business of creating a new heaven and a new earth, not satisfying shareholders" (p. 91). For a brief but current and comprehensive guide for those leading worship, one would be hard put to find anything more accessible and usable than this book. It has, in this reviewer's mind, only a couple of relatively minor flaws. An index would add to its usefulness. On page 8 the author employs a highly dubious etymology for the word innovate. To relate it to ovary/ovum--and therefore to fertility and birth--rather than to novum is a bit of a stretch.

Rev. Joseph I. Mortensen
American Baptist Churches of Michigan
Midland, Michigan
From "Congregations." A publication of the Alban Institute