Book Review: The Next Worship

Today for “Natasha’s Study” I am reviewing the book, The Next Worship: Glorifying God in a Diverse World by Sandra Maria Van Opstal.

The Next Worship

Why I picked up this book:

I received this book to review from my publisher InterVarsity Press and I was glad to review it for my friend, Sandra.

Who Should Read The Next Worship:

With this book, Sandra presents a wealth of knowledge from her diverse experiences leading cross-cultural worship teams. Any worship leader who is interested in multiethnic ministry, cross-cultural worship, being a bridge builder or reaching the millennial generation will benefit from reading this book.

Personally, I sought out the book because I am on a search committee for hiring a new Worship Arts Director & College Ministry Pastor for the multiethnic church where I am a member. I like to prayerfully make informed contributions and decisions so I was hoping that this resource could provide insight into the world of multi-ethnic worship, and it did.

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Book Review: Every Little Thing

Making a World of Difference Right Where You Are

 Author: Deidra Riggs

Every Little Thing Book Image

Why I picked up this book:

I received a copy of this book in support of author, Deidra Riggs. I was first introduced to Deidra through social media and her blog, Jumping Tandem.

Who Should Read Every Little Thing:

This book was a delight to read over the Christmas holiday. At first, I was going to recommend it for new believers.  Having finished the book, I would say that it’s for anyone who needs the simple reminder that the gospel is more than enough.

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Identity & Worship Speak into the Life of a Leader

I was honored to interview worship leader, Gail Song Bantum, of Quest Church in Seattle, Washington.

Photo courtesy of Gail Song Bantum
Photo courtesy of Gail Song Bantum

Reverend Gail Song Bantum is the Worship and Executive Pastor at Quest Church in Seattle, Washington. She is passionate about leadership development and leads seminars in diverse contexts. This is what she had to say when we sat down to talk about leadership:

As women, and particularly Christian women leaders, we talk a lot about identity and living our calling. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a woman and ethnic minority in pastoral leadership, and how have those challenges equipped you as a leader?

I am a second-generation Korean-American woman, grateful for 17 years of journeying this life together in marriage with a biracial man, and grateful for the gift and opportunity to raise three beautifully multiethnic children. I have a passion and prophetic call to pastoral ministry and leadership development particularly, in order that people and communities can live out and embody their true calling in Christ. I received my M.Div. from Duke Divinity School and am an ordained minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church. All of those things have shaped me as a person, Christian, and leader.

I provide that foundation before saying mentoring should never be a question of desire, but a question of obedience in response to Jesus’ command to ‘Go and make disciples.'” As a young woman of color, the path that was set before me as a worship leader and pastor 20 years ago did not afford me many opportunities to find mentors early in my ministry career. Lamentably, if I had waited specifically for a female mentor, I would not have had any mentors to speak of. Therefore, I often felt very isolated as a leader. I know that this is the reality still for many young women and people of color. It’s always hard for me to hear their stories and idly stand by, especially for those whom I know God has specifically called to positions of leadership.

Continue reading at Christianity Today Gifted for Leadership.