"Corporate Worship" by Matt Merker (book review)


 Dr. John MacArthur and A.W. Tozer each wrote books titled “Worship”, Bob Kaufflin wrote “Worship Matters”, Bryan Chapell wrote “Christ-Centered Worship”, Matt Boswell wrote “Doxology and Theology”, D.A. Carson wrote “Worship by the Book”, Mike Harland wrote “Worship Essentials”, Louie Giglio wrote “The Air I Breathe”…and the list goes on. So why do we need yet another book about worship?  Well, I’ll tell you why:

 First, the plethora of books about worship suggests it is truly an important issue. We are designed to worship.  We all worship…it may not be right worship, it may be worship of a god in the form of fortune or fame, but we all worship one way or another. From a strictly human standpoint, worship is obviously a important crucial topic.  From a strictly Christian theological standpoint, worship of the one, true, living God is what we believe and profess Christians are designed to do. The Lord God not only desires our worship, He even commands and governs it…and the Bible has something to say about it.

 Second, we need more books on worship because we need more authors’ perspectives and insights on the topic. Some authors may be more or less helpful topic than others, but I think all of them have something important to add do the conversation. If we think any one author, or even any small group of authors, can fully exhaust all that can and needs to be discussed and revealed about true worship, then I think we are doing ourselves a great disservice.

 Enter “Corporate Worship”, by Matt Merker, one of the newest releases (2021) in the 9 Marks series of little books. Merker is a gifted songwriter and musician, and you have probably sung some of his collaborated songs (such as “He Will Hold Me Fast” and “Christ Our Hope in Life and Death,” to name a couple) in your corporate gatherings. Merker’s approach in this book is not simply about the musical aspect of worship, although that is a good portion of it. Merker brilliantly introduces the reader to other aspects of worship, such as who worships, why we worship, and Who we worship.  Anyone who has ever read these little books know they may be physically small, but they are rich in depth and theology.  Over the course of seven relatively brief chapters, matters central to our worship of the Living God are covered.  I found the fourth chapter, “What Should We Do When We Gather?” to be most thought-provoking.  All the chapters were insightful, but this one was thought-provoking in the sense that it stirred up debatable matters (such as drama, baby dedications, etc.), but Merker graciously left room for brothers and sisters to disagree on these matters.

 As one of the song leaders in our corporate gathering, I found the sixth chapter, “How Does the Whole Church Participate in the Gathering” to be helpful.  Merker provided some ideas that would be fresh and welcoming in my local context.  I look forward to applying some of those ideas to our future gatherings.

 I have yet to read any one of the nine marks and be disappointed. I will be purchasing the physical copy of “Corporate Worship”, by Matt Merker. I received it free of charge from Crossway Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review of it. All opinions are mine, and I was not required to provide a positive review.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

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