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

InterVarsity Press / 2016 / Paperback

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Product Description

We live in an era of unprecedented intercultural exchange with a remarkable opportunity for the church growing toward God's kingdom inclusive of people from every nation, tribe, and tongue. In The Next Worship, Sandra Van Opstal draws from her extensive experience in leading worship in a context of many cutlures. Draw from her tools, tips, and practical advice to lead every member of the church in rich worship.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 0830841296
ISBN-13: 9780830841295

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Publisher's Description

Christianity Today's 2017 Book of the Year Award of Merit - Church/Pastoral Leadership What happens when a diverse church glorifies the global God? We live in a time of unprecedented intercultural exchange, where our communities welcome people from around the world. Music and media from every culture are easily accessible, and our worship is infused with a rich variety of musical and liturgical influences. But leading worship in multicultural contexts can be a crosscultural experience for everybody. How do we help our congregations navigate the journey? Innovative worship leader Sandra Maria Van Opstal is known for crafting worship that embodies the global, multiethnic body of Christ. Likening diverse worship to a sumptuous banquet, she shows how worship leaders can set the table and welcome worshipers from every tribe and tongue. Van Opstal provides biblical foundations for multiethnic worship, with practical tools and resources for planning services that reflect God's invitation for all peoples to praise him. When multiethnic worship is done well, the church models reconciliation and prophetic justice, heralding God's good news for the world. Enter into the praise of our king, and let the nations rejoice!

Endorsements

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

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

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

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

Author Bio

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.

Editorial Reviews

"In a time of great ethnic diversity—but also division—this book is sorely needed. Van Opstal provides a practical theology and missional framework for why we must rethink the corporate experience of worship. Her vision goes beyond building a diverse worship team or singing songs in an unfamiliar language. I pray every pastor and worship leader will read this book."

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