Worship Leader Series Vol. 1: Worship Leadership for Worship Leaders

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  • Author:Dr. William L. Hooper
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Worship Leadership for Worship Leaders, Vol. 1: Developing Skills For Effective Leadership is the first in a series of practical problem/solution training guides by Dr. William L. Hooper to help you have mighty Kingdom impact. It was written as the result of Dr. Hooper's many years of experience as a pastor, pastoral counselor, church musician, music teacher, and seminary professor. It's been written in the conviction that there are many areas of concern that have not been given serious thought sufficiently by those who are involved with worship leadership in a church.

The chapter titles reflect the concerns for music and worship in the church. Worship leaders must think about themselves as a person; the nature of the music they use; their philosophy of music; their theology in relation to music; the role of music as a cultural reality; their task as music teachers; and their task as leaders of worship.

The book is not intended as a "how to do it" manual. Instead, its purpose is to explore those issues upon which worship leadership must be based. If what is written will cause you to think and to argue back, so much the better. If the book stimulates you to write about these same issues from another perspective, better still.

DETAILED TABLE OF CONTENTS - Worship Leadership For Worship Leaders


Chapter 1: All About You
You Are A Person
An Emotional Creature
You Are A Christian
You Are A Social Creature
You Aim for Maturity
You Are A Minister
A Calling
A Ministry
Gift or Talent?
You Need Preparation
Music Skills
A Philosophy of Worship Leadership
A Theology of Worship Leadership
Hope and Help

Chapter 2: You And Your Music
Music as Sound
Music as Form
Natural Form
Structural Form
Expressive Form
Music as Expression
How Music Expresses
Music as Symbol
The Origin of Religious Symbols
The Origin of the Music Symbol
The Function of the Music Symbol
Music as a Liturgical Symbol

Chapter 3: You And Your Philosophy
Problems in Formulating a Philosophy
Problems of Theology
Problems of Denominationalism
Tensions in Musical Aesthetics
Form vs. Emotion
Tool vs. Art
Freedom vs. Responsibility

Chapter 4: You And Your Theology
The Theological Basis of Worship Music
The Source of Music
What Is Expressed in Music?
The Nature of the Music Creation
Theological Purposes of Worship Music
The Need for Conversion
The Need for Spiritual Growth
The Need for Knowledge
The Need for Fellowship
Theological Guidelines for Worship Music

Chapter 5: You And Your Culture
Contemporary Social Problems
Christian Responses to Culture
Christ Against Culture
The Christ of Culture
Christ Above Culture
Music as a Cultural Creation
The Composer in Society

Chapter 6: You Are A Music Teacher
Perceiving Music as Sound
Guiding the Perception of Music
Learning Music Skills
Thinking Critically About Music
Point of View
Questions in Music
Ways of Developing Music in the Church
A Practical Application

Chapter 7: You Are A Leader Of Worship
What Is Worship?
The Meaning of Worship
Human Needs Met in Worship
The Function of Music in Worship
Intensification of Religious Experience
An Edifying Force
Congregational Song in Worship
The Choir and Praise Team in Worship
Instruments in Worship
When Music Does Not Function Properly
Worship and Rites of Passage
The Lord’s Supper
The Christian Funeral
The Christian Marriage
Planning for Worship

Chapter 8: You And A Church
Who Evaluates Your Worship Leadership?
What Level of Excellence?
How Can Quality Be Measured?
To Whom Are You Responsible?
How is Worship Planned?
Are You Free to Complement the Sermon?
Is Church Growth Dependent Upon You?
Is There a Budget?

Appendix: For Personal Growth
Biography: William Loyd Hooper

113 pgs.


A paperback edition of this title is available to order from Amazon or through most major bookstores using the information below:

Title: Worship Leadership For Worship Leaders
Author: Dr. William L. Hooper / ISBN: 978-0-939067-78-7

Endorsements: Worship Leadership For Worship Leaders

Martha Hicks, DMA
Professor of Music and Coordinator of Church Music Studies
at Southwest Baptist University

At a time when the term "worship leader" means something different to every congregation, William L. Hooper’s Worship Leadership for Worship Leaders, Vol. 1: Developing Skills for effective Leadership attempts to define and clarify the roles of music leadership in the Twenty-first Century church. Hooper effectively rejects the ill-conceived idea of many church leaders that the only responsibility of the worship leader is to provide music and leadership at the worship hour on Sunday.

The author does not provide a "how-to-lead-worship" book, nor is the volume an "everything-you-need-to-know" resource; rather, Hooper leads the reader through a thoughtful process of discovering the "what" of worship leadership. From a foundation of philosophy and theology of worship and music ministry, the author encourages the reader to examine his/her own strengths and weaknesses as a musician and as a minister. As the discussion provides opportunity for the reader to acknowledge skills that he/she needs to develop, the author suggests resources to meet those needs.

Hooper never makes a judgment on any particular style of music or worship, yet the worship leader is called on to judge individual pieces of music in order to offer only the most excellent gifts to God in worship. At the same time, Hooper stands firm on the issue of the worship leader’s responsibilities beyond the worship hour. The responsibilities of ministry and music education cannot be overlooked if the church is to have adequate and proper leadership for the future.

One of the great strengths of the book is the chapter entitled You and Your Culture. Again, the author does not tell the reader what to think. Instead, he offers guidance for responding to culture in a biblical and Christ-like manner.

This volume should be required reading not only for music leadership in the church, but especially for pastors. The future church cannot be to this culture what we are called to be unless we realize the multiple facets of ministry through music that go far beyond choosing and leading songs for worship. Hooper unapologetically raises the banner of excellence as the standard for worship leadership in today’s (and tomorrow’s) church.

John D. Witvliet, Director
Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

Worship Leadership for Worship Leaders offers wise advice in concise form about a wide range of essential issues in the practice of worship leadership. It calls for mature faith, theological discernment, and a warm and passionate heart for ministry--each essential components of effective ministry. Consider studying this book with a group of both veteran and beginning leaders in your area.

About the Author: Dr. William L. Hooper

William Hooper attended Southwest Baptist College (now Southwest Baptist University) in Bolivar, MO, at that time a small two-year college. Following graduation, Hooper and his new wife served the First Baptist Church of Picher, OK as Minister of Music and Education. Then, it was on to William Jewell College in Liberty, MO in 1953. While attending Jewell he had a student pastorate in Denver, MO. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in philosophy and was awarded the David Alan Duce Award in Philosophy at commencement exercises. Following graduation Hooper taught public school vocal and instrumental music, kindergarten through high school, for two years at Essex, Iowa. Graduate studies followed at the University of Iowa where he earned a Master of Arts degree in music in 1956 with a concentration in voice. Hooper was awarded a graduate assistantship and was the librarian for the University Chorus.

The next four years were spent in Bolivar, MO as professor of voice at Southwest Baptist College, a small junior college. He directed the College Choir, trained both men and women quartets that were used in college recruitment, and organized a sixteen-voice College Chorale.

Doctoral study followed at George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. In 1956 he received the Ph.D. degree in music with a concentration in church music. While at Peabody he was a Jesse Jones Scholar and served the First Baptist Church in Old Hickory, TN as part-time minister of music and education. After his two years of doctoral candidacy were finished, Hooper went to The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 1962 as professor of music theory. Two years later he was promoted to Dean of the School of Church Music, a position he held until 1974. As Dean he played a leading role in getting the Seminary accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the School of Church Music accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Hooper also led the School of Church Music to begin a doctoral program in church music. While at the Seminary he was baritone soloist at St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church.

In the summer of 1969 Hooper and his family traveled to Zambia to work with churches there in training choirs. A year of sabbatical study began in the fall of 1969 in London, England. Hooper studied music composition privately with Humphrey Searle at the Royal College of Music. He returned to New Orleans in the fall of 1970. Hooper has been a composer since high school days. He began composing by arranging charts for his dance band with Stan Kenton and Igor Stravinsky as his models. His first serious composition and performance came as a freshman at Southwest Baptist College with a piece for wind band titled Daydream. It was also performed at Northwestern University under the title Music for a Motion Picture.

Beginning in 1962 and continuing to the present many choral compositions have been written and published by Concordia Press, Broadman Press, Carl Fischer and Word Music. Also in 1962, Hooper’s first book, Church Music in Transition was published. The cantata His Saving Grace Proclaim was published and recorded in 1968. In 1973 Le Petite Theatre du Vieux Careé in New Orleans asked Hooper to compose incidental music for their production of Anouhil’s play Becket. In 1973 he won the Delius Composition Competition and in 1974 he won the New Times Composition Competition.

A move was made back to England in 1974. Hooper was head of music at Newstead Wood School for Girls in the London Borough of Bromley for five years and serving as worship pastor for Emmanuel Baptist Church in Gravesend, Kent. In 1979 the church called him as pastor. While serving as pastor he completed a year of study in psychotherapy at the Westminster Pastoral Care Foundation.

He and his family returned to the United States in 1983 where Hooper became Dean of the School of Fine Arts at Southwest Baptist University, retiring from that institution in 1998. Since retirement he has continued his ministry as Minister to Senior Adults at First Baptist Church, Bolivar, MO.

Major compositions have included Jubilee, a cantata celebrating the 50th anniversary of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (1968), Canticle of Praise (children’s cantata, 1968), The Vision of Nahum [2001] and By the Grace of God for Chorus and Instruments (2002) to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Southwest Baptist University.

In addition to Church Music in Transition Hooper has also written Music Fundamentals (1964), Ministry and Musicians (1982) and Fundamentals of Music, 4 vols. (1986). Numerous other instrumental and keyboard pieces have been composed as well.

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