Worship Words

Discipling Language for Faithful Ministry

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Learning the Grammar of Worship

In Worship Words, Debra and Ron Rienstra carefully examine the role and use of language--in praying, singing, and preaching--in the worship practices of the church. The authors' goal is to help students, pastors, and worship leaders come to a renewed appreciation and understanding of the beauty and power of words in worship and to inspire them to use words more intentionally--to the greater glory of God and the greater blessing of God's people.

"Deeply personal, wise, and practical, this book by Debra and Ron Rienstra provides trustworthy guidance to all who seek to employ faithful and energized language in worship. Their insights on the words of prayers, hymns, and sermons move us from the chatty excesses of much worship today to language that is lively, crisp, inviting, profound, and full of wonder."--Thomas G. Long, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

"This book is an extraordinarily rich treasure chest of new insights, the best of research, and time-tested wisdom. Because of the unusual combination of their brilliant literary, musical, and theological gifts, the Rienstras offer phenomenal contributions to all of us who care about the church's worship. I most heartily recommend this book to everyone who seeks to glorify God fittingly."--Marva Dawn, author of Reaching Out without Dumbing Down, A Royal "Waste" of Time, and Talking the Walk

"I keep only classic worship books on my shelves. Worship Words will be there, assuming I ever get it back from my worship musician friends. Who knew! Music isn't everything!"--Sally Morgenthaler, author of Worship Evangelism

"What a stretching book full of rich ideas and thoughtful challenges to all of us who design worship experiences! I will put Worship Words in a spot on my bookshelf where it can be reached easily and used often as a resource for my own thinking and planning and to remind me of the profound significance of the language we use to call people to worship, to sing praise and lament, and to offer prayers to a holy and sovereign God. I am deeply grateful for the wisdom, experience, and research shared with us by the Rienstras."--Nancy Beach, Willow Creek Community Church


Debra Rienstra, Author

Debra Rienstra (PhD, Rutgers University) is assistant professor of English at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She has taught on worship in both workshops and seminary settings. Debra is the author of Great with Child: On Becoming a Mother and So Much More: An Invitation to Christian Spirituality.

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Ron Rienstra, Author

Ron Rienstra is assistant professor of preaching and worship at Western Seminary in Holland, Michigan, and an ordained pastor in the Reformed Church in America. He is currently completing the PhD program in worship and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author of numerous articles in Reformed Worship and scholarly journals.

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Clayton Schmit, Editor