Recommended Resources


We hope that the insights you gain through your Vital Worship, Vital Preaching project activities will have impact long after your grant year ends. No matter where you are in the grant cycle, the resources below can help inform and sustain your learning.

Recommended Resources

Preparing your teacher-scholar or worshiping communities grant application? Received a grant and want to do further research? These articles and books are recommended readings.

How We Understand Worship

    Selected Books for Worshiping Communities

    Foundational Background Material

    • A More Profound Alleluia: Theology and Worship in Harmony (Eerdmans, 2005)
      Convinced that worship and theology are intimately connected, the authors of this book demonstrate in practical terms how liturgy and doctrine can fruitfully illuminate each other.
    • Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation (Baker Publishing, 2009)
      James K.A. Smith reshapes the very concept of Christian education, focusing on the themes of liturgy, formation, and desire. The author contends—as did Augustine—that human beings are “desiring agents”; in other words, we are what we love.
    • Discerning the Spirits: A Guide to Thinking about Christian Worship Today (Eerdmans, 2003)
      To fully explore the topic of worship in church, the authors gathered a team of worship leaders from various theological backgrounds. This book broadens our approach to today’s “worship wars” into a bigger, richer discussion that moves from arguments over musical tastes to good thinking about the overall purpose of worship relating to church life and God.
    • Worship with Gladness: Understanding Worship from the Heart (Eerdmans, 2014)
      In this invitingly written, deeply joyful book, Joyce Ann Zimmerman uses scripture as her foundation while exploring the meaning and purpose of authentic Christian worship today.