From A Mustard Seed: Enlivening Worship and Music in the Small Church

by Bruce Gordon Epperly, Daryl Hollinger. Rowman & Littlefield, 2010.

“Small membership congregations can experience God’s new creation when they discover their unique gifts and explore innovative ways to share in God’s vision through mission and worship,” say theologians and authors Bruce Epperly and Daryl Hollinger. The authors believe that “small is challenging-but it can also be beautiful!” Their hopeful image of a vibrant small-membership congregation is one where people “can share in God’s abundant life through faithful, theologically grounded, and innovative worship services.” Topics include “worship as lived theology” that reflects gratitude, mission, and attention to the larger created world. Another is why and how worship music proclaims the gospel. The relationship between the pastor and musicians and the intricacies of designing worship are also discussed. Reflection questions are sprinkled throughout, making this a helpful study and discussion resource. The book is written for small membership Christian congregations, and that audience will find it most useful for their needs.