The Hour That Changes Everything: How worship forms us into the people God wants us to be by John van de Laar

John is a Methodist minister who has served three times as Worship Director for the National Conference of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa. His website, Sacredise, has similar hopes to this one in providing resourcing for contemporary worship.

I have always appreciated what he has to offer. And this book is no exception.

The book integrates our community worship with our ordinary, everyday life. The theology is solid, the examples are concrete. There is a constant stressing of applying ideas into our actual context. This can be used for individual reflection or for a group.

Some abandon liturgy because they find it little more than dry ritual. Others replace this with little more than a spectator experience. John is challenging and offering ways of letting worship be a life-giving transformation. Chapters, amongst other things, focus on intimacy with God, and becoming holy, true, beautiful, loving and purposeful.

The intention is that we read one chapter a week; slowly. After these chapters there are daily devotions consisting of a reading from the scriptures, a reflection, and a prayer. Then follow suggestions for weekly small-group meetings. There is an ice-breaker, suggestions for the small-group worship, followed by questions for group reflection. Finally, there are resources for eight Sunday whole-community worship. This is useful if the whole community has been focusing on this book. It includes suggestions for preaching, hymns, prayer – I am sure you can adapt these ideas into your own particular context.

I have, so far, not spent the fifty days with this book that the book advocates and is designed for, but I can already encourage you to consider doing so, individually or in your community.

You can get a Kindle version of the book here.
You can get a pdf of the Introduction, Chapter One and Samples of the Daily Devotional Guides, the Small Group Guides, and the Sunday Service Guides here.

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