Grand Rapids: Zondervan Press, 2004.
Hardcover, 273 pages, $24.99. ISBN 0310-25297-2

Nancy Beach writes, “Every Sunday morning a minority of people in your town
and mine prepare to go to church. Each man, woman and child has a story – a
life that goes on from Monday through Saturday. Many of them rush to get to
church on time. Some were on the fence all morning about whether they would
really show up. So, for those who do arrive, who walk into a church and take
a seat, what is at stake? How much does it really matter what takes place in
the next hour.”

If you believe, as does Beach, that it does matter, then you will want to read
this book. As Director of Programming and a teaching pastor at Willow Creek
Community Church, Beach is focused on making sure that the “hour on Sunday”
makes a difference in the lives of people through uniting arts and biblical
teaching in order to make an impact on peoples’ lives.

This remarkable book will encourage you to think about your worship services
in a new way. Beach draws on thirty years of experience to provide readers with
a load of ideas and insights for developing powerful worship experiences. The
great strength of the book is in helping pastors and worship leaders think through
the importance of engaging the arts (and artists in your church) to build more
engaging worship and teaching times. As Beach says, it is “time for artists
in the church to reclaim their God-given gifts and devote themselves to excellence.”
(The chapter on excellence is one every church leaders should be required to

Then again, there are several chapters that church leaders should be required
to read, such as the ones on creativity and authenticity. Oh, just read the
whole book. It will make you rethink why we do what we do – and to consider
fresh ways of doing what God has called us to do. Although Beach helps plan
many Willow Creek services, you don’t have to use a Willow Creek model to benefit
from the insights she shares.

As a pastor, you’ll see all the clever illustrations and quirky design and be
tempted to hand this one over to the worship leader or youth pastor. Don’t do
it; make them get their own copies, and you spend some time with this book,
thinking about what your worship experience can be like.

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