Bob Kauflin has been a voice for biblical worship in the Church for nearly four decades. The director of Sovereign Grace Music, his gift for developing theologically sound hymnody and great written resources for the Church is well earned. True Worshippers, like his earlier book Worship Matters, is a phenomenal resource wherein the nature of biblical worship is examined.
This short book is a practical exposition of the identity of those Jesus references in John 4, when he says, “The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” As Kauflin notes in the opening chapter ‘Worship and Reality,’
“The Maker of the universe is seeking true worshippers among us all…And God is seeking true worshippers—because true worshippers matter to God.”
The eight chapters that follow the opening one are all framed around an action word that true worshippers exemplify. True worshippers receive, exalt, gather, edify, sing, keep singing, encounter, and anticipate. Each chapter gives practical insight into how the Scriptures call worshippers to actively engage these different aspects of their identity. While two chapters specifically focus on how music is utilized in the life and gathering of true worshippers, most of the book reveals the nature of life-encompassing worship beyond the musical experience. This is one of the features I love about Kauflin’s writing and ministry. While music is a great tool in the believer’s worship of God, it is only one means, and a means to an end. That end, the twin goals of glorifying God and edifying fellow believers, puts music in its proper place. Indeed, the life of a true worshipper is so much more than craving the next musical experience:
“Loving God is distinct from loving things about God. It’s the difference between Bible knowledge that leads to pride and that which leads to praise. People who exalt God by loving him are the ones who look forward to spending time in God’s Word because of the opportunity to hear his voice. They get more excited about introducing someone to Christ than about meeting someone famous. They’ve often affected when they hear testimonies of God’s goodness and faithfulness. Conversations with them regularly end up at the foot of the cross, thanking God for his mercy. Knowing them makes you want to know the Savior better.”While music is a great tool in the believer’s worship of God, it is only one means, a means to an end. Click To Tweet
Another thing I appreciate about Kauflin’s perspective is that he doesn’t swing the pendulum too far. He keeps the focus on the Bible’s description and instruction for true worship. As he does this, he pastorally and patiently exhorts the reader to examine the trajectory of their daily worship.
“Remember, worship is a gift we receive before it’s a task we perform.”
“It’s not going too far to say that our response to God’s presence uniquely defines us as God’s people.”
This book is a great, accessible read for all Christians. I think it is particularly relevant and necessary for those leading God’s people in worship, whether that means pastoral staff or ministry volunteers. It is a sound, biblical, and pastoral corrective to an area of practical theology that is often needlessly minimized to a portion of the week or an emotional experience.The life of a true worshipper is so much more than craving the next musical experience. Click To Tweet
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 p. 131, emphasis original.