The Church Leaders “Best Books” series is our way of helping leaders find, read, and recommend books on a variety of important topics related to ministry and the Christian life. Check out the rest of our best books lists.
Adam Crawford took the time to offer us six books that have impacted him as a worship pastor. Adam is Worship and Support Pastor at CityView Church in Fort Worth, Texas. He is married to Taber and they have four kids.
1. Engaging with God (A Biblical Theology of Worship) by Dave Peterson
This book is foundational for any worship leader. It gives a big picture of how a life of worship has always been the goal. Peterson does a great job in helping you understand how acts of worship in the Old Testament and the New Testament all fit together and find their fulfillment in Jesus. This is not a light read, but it’s a good one.
2. Unceasing Worship by Harold Best
This book is unbelievably challenging. Harold is a very high-level thinker, and he better than anyone expounds upon the fact that we were created worshiping and will always be worshipers. He shows that it’s a matter of what or whom we will worship. He also talks about biblically appropriate and inappropriate response, then likens them to today’s modern setting. There are 2-3 “aha” moments in this one that stuck with me.
3. Worship Leaders, We Are Not Rock Stars by Stephen Miller
I like this book because of its extreme accessibility. I would not put the two above books into the hands of any church member wanting to know more about biblical worship, but this one I would. I had my entire team read this book and it’s bore some great fruit for us. It’s practical and offers some great nuggets of wisdom for the every day worship leader who is learning to lead his team and his congregation.
4. God Is the Gospel by John Piper
This is not technically a book on “worship,” even though it truly is. As Piper tends to do, he exposes this huge truth that the gift of the gospel is in fact God himself. Not heaven, not a life of purpose, not mansions, etc.–it’s Jesus. He challenges the reader in such a way that by the end you’re repenting for the fact that you might would rather have all the other stuff instead of God himself. This book’s profound implications led me to write a song!
5. The Work of the Pastor by William Still
Again, zero to do specifically with music or worship leaders, but this book is a book every worship pastor should read. It’s going to challenge things like “bigger is better,” “climbing the ministry ladder” it gets to the heart of what a Shepherd is. I love this book and am a better pastor of people for reading it. We don’t pastor area, songs, worship services or buildings we pastor people and that’s what this book will get you on.
6. Sensing Jesus by Zach Eswine
I don’t know that I have ever read a book that hit my heart as hard as this one. Many times along the way I had to stop because I was weeping and so deeply broken. This is a sweet book that helps reconnect us to the beauty of our humanity and in our blessed limitedness we get to proclaim Jesus in all of it. The book reads like a story, but doesn’t abandon deep biblical concepts. Zach especially has done an outstanding job in exegeting the garden of Eden and its implications for how to serve people who are under you.