ENCOUNTERING GOD TOGETHER: Leading Worship Services that Honor God, Minister to His People, and Build His Church, by David G. Peterson

Published on July 24, 2014 by Jim Zaspel

P&R, 2013 | 191 pages

About the Author

David G. Peterson is an emeritus faculty member of Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia, where he teaches a course on worship. He served as principal of Oak Hill College in London from 1996 to 2007 and is the author of Engaging with God, his earlier book on the theology of worship, Possessed By God: A New Testament Theology of Holiness and Sanctification, and also Transformed by God, an exposition of the new covenant.


It is extremely important for our church services to reflect the biblical storyline of God gathering a people to himself so that they can praise him and strengthen each other. God has acted to create a covenant community through the work of Jesus Christ his Son. When this community gathers together it is to worship him and edify one another. There are a variety of elements that can facilitate praise and edification, and they should all find a regular place in the assemblies of God’s people.

Tragically, many of the practices that can unite the church are causes for division. Music, the exercise of spiritual gifts, baptism, and other important components that should lead the church in worship and result in mutual edification, too often become issues for disunity. Church leaders need to prepare carefully and prayerfully for the gathering together of God’s people. Although there is an enormous range of diverse ways of honoring God and strengthening the church, there are also some nonnegotiable principles laid down in the New Testament. When diversity and freshness are connected with proper theology and Scriptural priorities, when the goal of the meeting reflects biblical priorities, and when things are done in an orderly and clear manner, the gatherings of the people of God can be wonderfully rich experiences, to the glory of God and for the good of his saints.


Table of Contents

1  The Gathering of God
2  Worshipping God
3  Edifying the Church
4  Patterns of Service
5  Listening to God
6  Praying Together
7  Praising God
8  Singing Together
9  Baptism
10  The Lord’s Supper
Suggested Further Reading
Index of Subjects


Chapter 1  
The Gathering of God

Worship is still a controversial topic in our churches. We need to ensure that our theology of worship is faithful to the Scriptures. Before we can decide how we should worship when we gather, we need to think about why we gather together in the first place. The Bible reveals that God has a purpose of uniting a people to Jesus Christ his Son. He gathers them from all nations and brings them into the church community. Sin caused separation between human beings and God, but God has acted to reconcile people from all nations. Beginning with his promise to Abraham, continuing through the exodus of Israel from their slavery in Egypt, and culminating in the gathering of the church of Jesus Christ, the Bible shows that God’s plan is to bring his chosen people together. This gathering is taking place in human history, but also foreshadows the ultimate gathering of the redeemed people of God in the new heavens and new earth.

When God brought the Israelites out of …


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Encountering God Together: Leading Worship Services That Honor God, Minister To His People, And Build His Church

P&R, 2013 | 191 pages

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