Caring Worship: Helping Worship Leaders Provide Pastoral Care through the Liturgy

This book takes a new and fresh look at the worship liturgy.

Howard Vanderwell
Wipf and Stock, 2017
Preaching and Pastoral Leadership, Worship Planning and Leading

In a perfect world we might expect that all worshipers would be ready for a worship service of thorough praise and adoration. But that is not the case. Those who come for worship bring with them all the cares, anxieties, and stresses of life in this broken world. All are needy people. Some will find help for those needs in the pastor’s office during a one-on-one conversation; some may find it in a pastoral call; but many will never experience either of those. The opportunity to minister to their needs will occur during that special time when all are gathered for worship. The sermon has received much attention as the avenue for help with their hurts, but what about the liturgy?

This book insists that the liturgy, regardless of denomination or style, is not merely preparatory to the main event—the sermon—but is rather the time in which the worshiper can be healthily cared for. The worshiper who comes before the face of God should be able to expect help, care, and healing. Blessed are the pastors and worship planners who develop a sensitive concern for the care that worshipers come expecting.

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