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Worship Essentials: Growing a Healthy Worship Ministry Without Starting a WAR!

Worship Essentials: Growing a Healthy Worship Ministry Without Starting a WAR!

NOTE: Mike Harland has just released a great new book on worship!!!

It’s not exactly War and Peace.

The classic book by Tolstoy, famously known for its length, looks like an encyclopedia up beside my book. You could read Worship Essentials a few hundred times before you got half-way through War and Peace.

It’s not a theology of worship. For that, read Tozer and Peterson or more recently Bob Kauflin (Worship Matters), Matt Boswell (Doxology & Theology) or Dwayne Moore (Pure Praise). Everyone should read Keith and Kristyn Getty’s book, Sing!,  to find a biblical apologetic for congregational singing. Those and many others have helped me develop a theology of worship.

It’s also not intended to be a primer for ministry leaders. Find Zac Hicks and his book, The Worship Pastor, or the books by Dr. Vernon Whaley that describe and discuss what worship leadership looks like in a local congregation.

So, just what is Worship Essentials?

It is a discussion starter. The intention is to create a way to evaluate the worship ministry of your church against a backdrop of values that should be present when a church gets it right. It gives you a way to think about the worship ministry of your church and the worship health of your congregation.

In the last chapter, I explain why I’m so excited about the next generation of leaders and why I believe God is raising them up to lead a spiritual revival marked by worship in our lifetimes. If you only read one chapter, read that one. You’ll be encouraged.

It’s not rocket science. It’s an easy read. Some of it might make you mad. Other parts might make you glad. I just hope all of it makes you think.

I’m blessed to be a part of an organization that invited me to write a book about worship.


Get your copy of  Worship Essentials.

Also check out ten additional great books on worship.


This post was reprinted with permission and originally found on

About The Author

Mike Harland

Mike Harland grew up in Mississippi, graduated from Delta State University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and has led churches in worship leadership roles for most of his life. From 2005-2020, Mike served as the Director of Worship at LifeWay Christian Resources. Mike now serves as the Associate Pastor|Worship of First Baptist Church Jackson, Mississippi. He is a published author, Dove Award-winning songwriter, and a worship leader who sings and speaks nationally and internationally. His blog and podcast, "WorshipLife" is followed by pastors, worship leaders, and church musicians around the world.


  1. Richard North

    What is the best congregational key for the song….”Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong?

    • Kenny Lamm

      The key of A is good. It brings the lowest note to low A and the highest note to D. Anything lower gets a bit low for most singers in the verse. Higher by more than 1/2 step is too high.


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