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Christ-Centered Worship: Letting the Gospel Shape Our Practice

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  200 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
The church's worship has always been shaped by its understanding of the gospel. Here the bestselling author of Christ-Centered Preaching brings biblical and historical perspective to discussions about worship, demonstrating that the gospel has shaped key worship traditions and should shape today's worship as well.
This accessible and engaging book provides the church with
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Baker Academic
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Clayton Hutchins
Apr 28, 2016 Clayton Hutchins rated it really liked it
Really good. Gives a nice historical overview and explanation of Catholic, Lutheran, Calvinist, Westminster, and Modern (Rayburn) liturgies. Argues that the structure of our church services (i.e., our liturgy) should be a "re-presentation" of the gospel (99). He thinks this happens best by allowing our services to follow this general movement: Adoration, Confession, Assurance, Thanksgiving, Petition, Instruction, Charge and Benediction (98–99). He's not so much advocating for a particular form ...more
Demetrius Rogers
Mar 28, 2016 Demetrius Rogers rated it liked it
Shelves: bible-theology
For a guy who grew up in the Pentecostal church, this was an interesting book. This was Chapell's description and defense of the liturgy. And honestly, coming from my circles, I've never been exposed to liturgical forms of worship; so I was eager to hear all about it. To have it described was good, but what I was really hoping for was to have it explained. What is liturgy? Okay, got it. It's basically making sure a worship service contains 8 main pieces: adoration, confession, assurance, ...more
Oct 06, 2009 Nathan rated it really liked it
Wonderful and very thought-provoking book. Perfectly timed in the providence of God just after I had finished The Gospel Driven Church. The first book stirred a hunger and cast a vision, but it did very little to help me find my practical way forward. In Christ Centered Worship, Bryan Chapell provided that way forward by showing how the way we structure our worship services must tell (re-present) the story of the gospel. Using examples from both Scripture and the history of the church, Chapell ...more
Eric Durso
Mar 02, 2016 Eric Durso rated it really liked it
Good, interesting, helpful, stimulating book. Worship leaders would benefit from reading this.
Johnmark Battaglia
Dec 25, 2013 Johnmark Battaglia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books
Christ-Centered Worship

“Structures tell stories.” So begins Chapell’s exploration and explanation of Christian liturgy. I picked up this book knowing very little about liturgies, their rich history, or the resurgence that traditional liturgies are enjoying in many churches across America today. I had recently been tasked with composing the liturgy for the Sunday service at my local church, but had no idea what I was doing. Christ-Centered Worship profoundly impacted me because it not only provi
Adam Smith
Oct 22, 2014 Adam Smith rated it really liked it
Recommended to Adam by: Nathan Carter
"Christ-Centered Worship" by Bryan Chapell shows how the liturgy of a church's weekly gathering/service can be structured so as to conform to the contours of the gospel. By referring to two things, the church's liturgy in history and descriptions of people meeting God in the Bible, he shows how the good news is such that it tends to shape the containers in which God places it. He makes the strong point that the gospel is like a trumpet that will marshal the troops with a clear call only if it ...more
Feb 21, 2011 Philip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book is laid out in two main parts. The first section discusses, as it were, the doctrine of Christ-centered worship. An honest discussion of liturgy begins at the outset and flows into an in-depth analysis of historical liturgy from the Catholic Church (pre 1570) to Luther to Calvin to Westminster and eventually to the Modern Church. I must confess that, as a Baptist, I found the topic of liturgy and the discussion of what seemed to me as rigid worship forms to be quite disconcerting. Was ...more
Nov 27, 2009 Greg rated it liked it
Skimmed most of it. Exceeded my expectation. Actually made me feel guilty for poking a little fun at it before I even read it. There's some good meat in it. Still, overall is is somewhat bland writing that doesn't go out on any limbs to really say anything other than what you might expect from a nice guy who doesn't want any fights.

If you want some real insightful writing on liturgy, read Schmemann (For the Life of the World) or even Ratzinger (Spirit of Liturgy). Of course, these are more found
Apr 06, 2013 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: liturgics, reformed
An excellent, easy-to-read introduction to the historic worship of the church.

Bryan Chapell (the Chancellor of Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO) examines orders of service used down through church history. He has a chart comparing early church orders of service with orders of service used during the Reformation. He gives the biblical and gospel-centered rationale for including various elements in worship.

Chapell advocates incorporating these gospel-centered elements in worship wh
Mike Jorgensen
Jun 08, 2016 Mike Jorgensen rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian, worship
Very very good resource. It can be a bit myopic at times when it comes to Chapell's particular strand of the reformed tradition, but it is more forgivable (by me) since it is a stream that I find myself in. He offers a helpful history of several important liturgies and analyzes the underlying narrative of each. He advocates for the Regulative Principle of Worship but does so graciously. Even those who disagree with his conclusion will learn a great deal from him.

I was most impressed by this quot
Dec 01, 2013 Carla is currently reading it
Recommends it for: worship leaders and those who want to better understand corporate worship
This is taking me awhile to get through - I've found I can navigate it better if I treat it kind of like a text book, and take notes as I go along. I've already used some of the historical worship services practices in my service planning, and they've been really powerful. It's been really beneficial to better understand the history of church worship, and the powerful truths behind order and symbolism.
Dec 04, 2014 Tim rated it really liked it
A helpful book in helping our church worship services be shaped by the Gospel. The first half of the book is more academic in explaining that the church liturgies from a variety of church traditions all have a gospel-centered structure. The second half of the book contains many historical and contemporary examples and suggestions on how to conduct each element of the worship service.

Great read for pastors and those who conduct church services.
Taylor Storey
Dec 27, 2013 Taylor Storey rated it it was ok
Read this for worship and theology at western seminary...there was a few good things in here, but I can't believe his summary of church history! He spends about 5% of the book on the first 1500 years and then begins getting detailed with the reformation. I want more pre-constantinian thoughts on worship.
Sep 10, 2012 Jonny rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
I think a better title for this book would be, "A Handbook for Christ-Centered Worship." Half the book is examples of elements that one could use in a worship service. The other half is a historical overview of how the church has arrange such elements. The really good parts describe how our worship services can "re-present" the gospel in liturgical form.
Dan Sudfeld
Jul 21, 2010 Dan Sudfeld rated it really liked it
Helpful book on the history and practice of worship. This book will not find a home at an obscure place on my bookshelf, but will be readily accessible on a weekly basis as I think about our worship services.
Sep 06, 2012 Larry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very useful even to those of us that worship in what appears to be non-liturgical gatherings. The models are all there and can be incorporated in ways that can accommodate the high church squeamish ;)
Nicholas Rozier
Jan 17, 2012 Nicholas Rozier rated it it was amazing
An incredible book that offers an educational perspective on liturgy and gospel formed worship. I found myself deeply impressed with classical forms and their beauty after Chappel's
in depth descriptions and histories.
David Varney
Apr 24, 2016 David Varney rated it it was amazing
A definitive guide to reintroducing gospel shaped worship forms to the local church. Every church will benefit from applying the principles from this book.
Chuck Bonadies
Feb 03, 2011 Chuck Bonadies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The strength of Christ-Centered Worship is in the details. Chapell moves beyond theory (which is extremely important!) to practice, even giving examples for each element of worship.
Jared Totten
Aug 11, 2011 Jared Totten rated it really liked it
Great thoughts, solid argument. It gets redundant at points as he drives home his point in different periods of church history and in different church settings.
Seth Channell
Feb 14, 2014 Seth Channell rated it really liked it
Challenged me to think about what the structure of our church's worship service says to those participating in our weekly worship service.
Daniel Eads
Oct 29, 2015 Daniel Eads rated it really liked it
Very, very helpful. A comparison of liturgies that shows the necessity of shaping our worship around the gospel message.
Jun 19, 2013 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great. This is a resource that could really aid churches in keeping in line with the Gospel-centered practices of traditional, confessional Christianity, while not making laws out of preferences.
Amy rated it really liked it
Mar 19, 2015
Nathan Long
Nathan Long rated it liked it
Sep 08, 2014
Karl Stephens
Karl Stephens rated it really liked it
Jul 05, 2016
Johnathon Vogel
Johnathon Vogel rated it really liked it
Jan 11, 2012
Brandon rated it really liked it
Nov 14, 2011
Mike rated it it was amazing
Dec 28, 2010
John Valnes
John Valnes rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2014
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Bryan Chapell is the president of Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, the denominational seminary of the Presbyterian Church in America. He began teaching at Covenant in 1984 after ten years in pastoral ministry. Chapell has a BSJ from Northwestern University, an MDiv from Covenant Theological Seminary, and a PhD in speech communication from Southern Illinois University ...more
More about Bryan Chapell...

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