Course:  The Worshiping Church       Download PDF Version


Professor: Chad Barnes, Student Minister at Sylvania Church, Tyler, TX.


This course is a study of the foundations of Christian worship, including its biblical roots and its historical development.  In addition, the class will address the selection of worship materials, planning orders of worship, inner-staff participation in worship in relation to preaching, evangelism, music, and spiritual growth in participants.


The student who completes this course should be able to do the following:

  1. Articulate in written form a theological rationale and biblical basis for authentic Christian worship, both private and corporate.
  2. Develop and sculpt Christ-centered, biblically-based, contextually-sensitive corporate worship service orders.
  3. Synthesize biblical and historical worship practices and their relationship to present-day worship practices.
  4. Analyze historical, theological and cultural influences in various worship traditions and styles.
  5. Articulate form the vital role of corporate worship in the local church.

 REQUIRED TEXTS (provided by Effects of Grace Ministries for guest, foreign pastors)

Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Worship, Baker Books, ISBN 978-0-8010-3640-8

Bob Kauflin, Worship Matters, Crossway, ISBN 1-58134-824-X


D. A. Carson, Worship by the Book, Zondervan, ISBN 978-0310216254

Matthew Pinson, ed., Perspectives on Christian Worship, Five Views, Broadman and Holman,

 ISBN 987-0-8054-4099-2


Two Book Reviews

Each student is responsible to submit a review of one required text.  The student may choose which of the two books he wishes to review.  Each review should be well-organized and well-considered.  You should have a 1-page summary and critical evaluation.  Formal introductions and conclusions are unnecessary.  Each review should be 5 pages in length not including the title page.  Make sure you cite page numbers in parenthesis for any quotes or references to author’s comments.  You must review Worship Matters (Kauflin) and Christ-Centered Worship (Chapell).

Worship Service Observation

Each student will attend and evaluate one worship service at Sylvania Church.  The student will take notes during the service about the differences and will use those notes to write a 3-5 page critique of the worship service.  Include reasons for your critique based on the lectures and reading.

Plan a Worship Service

The student will plan an entire worship service. This plan will reflect the student’s implementation of the reading and lectures. The worship service should be “Cross-centered” in its songs, prayers, and sermon. The student will complete the following for the worship plan:

  1. Prepare an outline of elements (prayers, songs, Scripture, sermon, etc.) for a worship service.
  2. After the completing the outline of the service, explain why you chose particular elements for the service, the rationale for the way you ordered the service and the scriptural basis for the elements.
  3. Select worship songs and explain your rationale for your selection.
  4. Write out all prayers and all transitions that will be spoken in the service moving from one element of worship to the next.
  5. Include a brief outline of the sermon. (Scripture reference, 3 main points)
  6. Prepare a church bulletin for the service that includes an order of service
  7. Prepare a PowerPoint presentation for the worship songs.



Email: Students are expected to check their email accounts at least twice per week for communication. This is necessary to stay up to date on pertinent class communication and updates.

Respect for Divergent Viewpoints: Students and faculty are to show appropriate respect for each other even when divergent viewpoints are expressed through class assignments and discussion boards. Such respect does not require agreement with or acceptance of divergent viewpoints.

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