The Chase: Our Passionate Pursuit of Life Worth Living by Kirk Lewis (Xulon Press)
Do not read this book unless you want to laugh, weep, think and consider what Kirk Lewis reveals—an honest look at what it takes to walk with the living, loving Lord, complete with all the questions, confusions and ultimate confessions.
As he did in his previous book, Put Away Childish Things, Lewis provides a way for both believers and nonbelievers to walk beside the men and women who walked beside Jesus. Lewis leads readers into this opportunity to consider what very easily could be the thoughts and actions of these real people as they encountered the Man from Nazareth.
It will not take long to read this book. The words are not complicated. The chapters are not long. The stories may even be familiar if you have some knowledge of Scripture. However, you will need to take the time to see yourself in the pages. While Lewis’ style is not formal, his message runs deep. I promise it is worth the trip.
I recommend The Chase only if you want to be changed—just like the people in the first century were changed when they walked with Jesus. Maybe, just maybe, their stories are our stories.
Grear Howard, adjunct faculty for youth, student and family ministry
Truett Seminary/Baylor University
Gather God’s People: Understand, Plan and Lead Worship in Your Local Church by Brian Croft and Jason Adkins (Zondervan)
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This relatively brief book provides an excellent introduction to worship involving the biblical understanding of the task, the importance of planning the event and practical steps in leading the worship experience. Written jointly by a ministerial team of pastor and worship leader, the discussion offers not only sound theory, but also practical suggestions based on years of experience.
The book is organized in three sections—understanding worship, planning worship and leading worship. Chapter subdivisions reveal the depth of study and practical applications experienced by the co-authors. The concluding section is especially helpful with its advice and ideas and the importance of re-introducing psalm singing in congregational worship. Their inclusion of four appendixes on this subject offers a helpful tool to use psalms in worship. Examples of practical methods of utilizing psalms in worship will be helpful not only to novices, but also to experienced pastors and worship leaders.
Gather God’s People is highly recommended for pastors and worship leaders. It presents helpful ideas on how to revitalize congregational worship experiences in unique but biblical ways often neglected by today’s churches.
Ed Spann, retired dean
College of Fine Arts
Dallas Baptist University