"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
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)
Well-researched. Accessible to a wide range of worship leaders and worshipers. Invites readers to lean in and listen with generous and curious ears to the soundscape of Christian worship. Provides useful definitions of common and sometimes divisive worship terms (e.g. sacred vs. secular music, contemporary vs. traditional worship) without creating the dualistic categories we often associate with such terms. This book is a good reminder that the focus of our worship is God and not a particular style of worshiping God. A well-crafted blend of theological reflection and practical strategies for creating and embodying substantive and meaningful worship.