Rhythms of Grace by Mike Cosper - A Review
I just finished Rhythms of Grace by Mike Cosper.
Who - I don't know anything about Mike Cosper besides what this book tells me, and also that I wish his name were Casper because I could make a friendly ghost joke. But I'll just copy what the book says. "Mike Cosper is one of the founding pastors of Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky, where he serves as the pastor of worship and arts. He is also the founder of Sojourn Music and contributes regularly to the Gospel Coalition blog." Seems legit. A worship pastor writing about worship, I can get behind that.
What - This book has been on my Amazon wish list for a long time. No real reason besides I like the cover and tagline "How the church's worship tells the story of the gospel". He starts off with a history of worship in the church, "The Song of Eden", "Worship in the Wilderness", "The Song of Israel", and "The Song of Jesus". I thought all of these chapters were great. I've had some books about worship that I've put down after a couple of chapters, or can only read a couple of pages at a time. Some books like this are so dense with theological jargon, and read like a textbook, that I can't bring myself to really enjoy it. And if I'm not enjoying reading it, I'm not going to waste my time. Except Blue Like Jazz, by the time I was sick of that book, I was in too deep, and just forced myself to finish it. But that's for another time. Maybe I'm just dumb or have a short attention span; who knows. Cosper writes about the history of worship in a way that's super readable, and keeps you engaged with what you're reading. On a personal note, one of my goals has been to learn about worship beyond what I know. Which is basically whatever songs I've been playing in church the past ten years, so I thought this whole history part was great. After that, he gets into how gospel centered worship fits into the church, liturgy, singing, and finally being a "pastoral worship leader". These chapters all had helpful sections of practical ways to fit things into your service to make them more gospel centered rather than just a music, preaching, done, kind of service. I thought these were super interesting, and I've found a ton of new things to think about from liturgical prayers to different ways of approaching making a set list, and all kinds of things in between.
Why - Overall, I thought this was a great book, and would definitely recommend it to anyone involved in worship ministry, and really anyone interested in the topic of worship. There were plenty of sections I've marked to share with my wife and some other members of my family that hit on some things we've talked about on our own. This book receives my official stamp of "What Would Kyle Read" approval. I should try to get actual stamps made...maybe someday.
Well, thanks for reading my totally unqualified book review. I might get better at this review thing, but probably not.