What People are saying:
In this well written, well organized study, Brian Russell sets contemporary worship in historical context, makes a case for utilizing it, and offers a step-by-step process for shaping it within 21st century "mainline" congregations. The breadth of Russell's work is impressive; and his theological insights make the book a valuable guide for clergy and laity alike.
Bill J. Leonard, James and Marilyn Dunn Professor of Baptist Studies and Church History, Wake Forest University
Brian Russell’s book, The Complete Contemporary Worship Handbook, is a great resource for churches considering starting a contemporary worship service, are seeking to reinvigorate their existing contemporary services, or want to explore the role of music, traditional or contemporary, in the life of worship. Brian’s book does a wonderful job of validating and advocating for both traditional and contemporary music in worship. Mr. Russell advocates for effective sacred music in every setting, as long as it is relevant to the people hearing it. In addition, he provides clear, experienced strategies for how to develop effective sacred music programs for contemporary worship.
Danny Frye, Director of Instrumental Studies, High Point University
For any pastors or worship leaders interested in either starting a contemporary worship service or bringing new life to an existing service, The Contemporary Worship Handbook is a must read. From the nuts and bolts of hiring effective leaders; assembling a praise team and music selection; to naming a service (or not naming it); budgets and marketing strategies, Brian has covered them all. Brian reminds us, as worship leaders, that we must continually ask ourselves if our worship is helping our congregations experience God. Isn’t that our goal? This book helps us all get there.
Rev. Peggy A. Finch Memorial United Methodist Church
Twenty-five years ago I attended church conferences that clearly articulated what was coming and what was at stake: “Lead worship that is accessible, engaging and relevant, that resonates with your congregation’s theology, mission and vision… or you will decline rapidly in the 21st century.” In 1997 I took a call to a congregation I’m still serving that gave me primary responsibility for a new worship service. After several years of success and struggles, we realized we needed a musician who shared the vision, who also possessed the theological bent, leadership skills and courageous passion to explore and eventually lead this journey. Brian Russell is that person. This book is the result of a challenging, grace-filled adventure that continues to evolve beyond his years with us. I know from experience that Brian’s guidance in this book will give your congregation the opportunity to design and lead vibrant worship, and I commend it to you with confidence and joy.
Rev. Jay Hilbinger, Senior Pastor, First Lutheran Church (ELCA), Greensboro, North Carolina
The Complete Contemporary Worship Handbook
The Complete Contemporary Worship Handbook is a perfect resource for anyone involved in developing, creating or managing contemporary worship. Brian Russell, through extensive research and his own experience has compiled a "how-to" manual that will equip Pastors, Worship Leaders, Committees, or anyone interested in working toward more effective worship experiences.