Let me start off by mentioning, as per FTC guidelines, I have received a copy of the e-book for my honest review, no other compensation has been offered or asked for in return for my honest review.
The Worship Kenbook
The Worship Kenbook is something outside my usual review material. I generally prefer something along the lines of The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom or Why Revival Tarries by Leonard Ravenhill. A book about worship is not something you’d likely find on my dead-tree bookshelf or even in my digital book library. It’s not that I’m not interested in worship, it is that I am wary of books that claim to have a way to ‘turn on’ the Holy Spirit, and as many practicing Christians should know, God expects us to ‘worship in spirit and in truth’ (John 4:23-24 (KJV) 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.) Seeing as how the author first contacted me on Twitter and I don’t know anything about him, and because this book is outside what I normally read, I didn’t know what to expect.
I was truly ecstatic as I moved past the table of contents and read the introduction and first several chapters. Here is what seems to be a true transformation through revelation of this man, a worship leader at his church, about the nature of true worship and what it truly means to God. I fully expected the remaining chapters to be more about his experience and how it has changed not only his ministry but everyone involved. Instead, with the occasional reference back to his initial revelation and the realization of what true worship is, we have a set of what the author has termed ‘general guidelines’. Call it what you will, but what we have here is a testimony that has been ‘lost in translation’ and instead of a great book on worshipping in spirit, what we actually have is “Yet Another Book of Formulas”™ from about the third or fourth chapter on out.
If you skim past the first few chapters and scan through the rest of the book, it’s studded with tons of bullets, tables, and technical how-to’s on making the musical experience as emotionally pleasing as possible, which is okay if you’re just providing entertainment. If you’re a worship (or even secular) band leader looking to improve your technical execution then this is possibly the book for you. However, as someone who loves to read about people’s personal testimonies, and sermons disguised as books, you’ll probably be very, very disappointed. You see, there is no magic formula – as much as Western (and especially American) Christianity wants to sell you on the latest formulas, guidelines, and principles – for getting the Holy Spirit to move. I can’t describe to you exactly what a move of the Holy Spirit is, but I can tell you I’ve never had one at a concert. Truthful, spiritual worship doesn’t come from external stimulus. It comes from inside. It is an undeniable and unshakable desire to show God your gratitude, your love for Him, and your obedience to His will. While using the right tempos, keys, and beats might be able to stir up an emotional response, we need to beware of emotions. They are deceiving masking as the real thing even when the real thing never really happened.
A lot of the tips – especially those geared toward musicians – are true of any profession, practice does make perfect – if you have any skill to begin with. While we are to hone the skills God has given us, we should not be deceived that just because we played an instrument well God was worshiped ‘in spirit and truth’ and that is the only way to worship Him. I – as an electrician and handyman – preform acts of worship all the time when I leave a job completed, done to the best of my ability. Torquing down screws, wiring up devices correctly, and putting up banisters at the correct height and angle is as much worship – when done for God’s glory alone – as is blowing a horn or strumming a harp in a manner that produces notes that come together to produce music.
I was so inspired upon reading of Gangai’s revelation from God on worship, impressed with his time being shut away with God to discover how important true worship of Him is, yet I left the book feeling disappointed. As if some piece of the puzzle has been left out or some stone left unturned and instead of waiting to put all those pieces together properly, the space remaining was filled with worldly how-to’s, guidelines, and bulleted lists on how to make worship an emotional experience. Somehow the author has lost in translation his revelation of true worship as a spiritual experience and has equated it with an emotional one.
2 1/2 stars