Seminary Hill Press releases ‘Scripture-Guided Worship’ in e-book format

Crider ebook

Seminary Hill Press, the publishing arm of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, has released an e-book version of Scripture-Guided Worship: A Call to Pastors and Worship Leaders. Written by Joseph R. Crider, dean of the School of Church Music and Worship (SCMW), the book originally was released in 2021 to coincide with the school’s centennial anniversary.

The e-book version offers another format for readers of the book, which was written as an encouragement to pastors and worship leaders to rely on the Bible as their primary resource for corporate worship rather than the popularity of worship songs or the latest technology.

“I am incredibly grateful that Seminary Hill Press is offering Scripture-Guided Worship as an e-book,” said Crider, who also serves as professor of church music and worship. “With an increasing number of international students in our online worship program, the e-book will provide those students with much easier access to the book.”

“I’m grateful to the Lord that the book seems to be resonating with pastors and worship leaders in giving them a vision for the sufficiency and authority of Scripture in corporate worship,” he added.

In Scripture-Guided Worship, Crider uses the story of Uzzah and David from 2 Samuel 6 and 1 Chronicles 13 to illustrate his point. Writing in the book’s introduction, Crider states, “It’s a story of worship gone wrong. It’s a story of respected leaders focusing more on pragmatic methods rather than heeding God’s instructions for worship clearly outlined in His Word.”

“For me, the story of Uzzah is like a flashing yellow caution light on the road I travel as a worship leader,” he added. “The Uzzah story cautions me over and over again that worship facilitated on the cart of what seems to ‘work’ (pragmatism) rather than according to the unwavering truths of the Word of God, will ultimately harm the people worshiping under my direction.”

The book is divided into three parts. Crider writes that the first part is “diagnostic – figuring out what we know or don’t know about worship.” Part two is “theologically foundational – learning from the Bible what the essentials of corporate worship are,” and part three is “prescriptive – offering an approach to weekly worship that relies on the Bible to provide both content and structure for the weekly worship gathering.”

In the book’s foreword, David S. Dockery, seminary president and distinguished professor of theology writes, “Worship is the foundational activity of the Christian church, defining the life-giving function of the people of the new covenant both now and in the age to come. While worship is a joyful experience, it must be more than experiential in nature, for it is as necessary for spiritual life as air and food are for physical well-being.”

“May God in His grace bring renewal and revitalization to our worship practices, encouraging worshipers not just to experience the moment, but to participate actively in the affirmation of their faith and the exaltation of our majestic God,” Dockery added.

Crider was an experienced worship leader and teacher of church music and worship prior to joining the Southwestern Seminary faculty in 2019. He was elected music leader for the 2024 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting scheduled June 11-12 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Crider will lead a team of SWBTS faculty and students in providing worship leadership during the annual meeting.

The e-book version of Scripture Guided Worship: A Call to Pastors and Worship Leaders can be purchased for $3.99 on the Seminary Hill Press website. The printed version of the book also is available on the website.