The longer I am a worship leader, the more I realize the need to learn. The role of the worship leader consists of so much more than what I could ever dream of. From music to counseling and from Facebook to mentoring, worship leaders are up for it all. “To Know You More” is a great insight in the life of a rising worship leader. Andy Park opens up to his history as a worship leader, father, husband, and recording artist. He brings great insight, experience, advice, and encouragement to a young worship leader and can bring a different perspective to an older seasoned worship leader. It seemed to me that Andy does more spiritual nurturing than musical. He lays his heart out there, and encourages us to stay in the Word constantly.
In the first chapter Andy starts off by boldly stating that (1) “becoming a worship leader isn’t about the pursuit of a ministry or career; it’s about the pursuit of a person.” The career factor is always an idea floating around in a worship leader’s head, especially when talking about writing songs. I appreciate that boldness right from the start. He moves on to lay ground work on the pursuit of the person, and ties it in with his personal experience with worship from a young age. He goes into some depth of his high school to college life. While in college his attention was turned to a Vineyard church, and that is where he experienced a worship setting like no other. After this experience, he was called into worship and progressed as worship leader. Andy gives great insight on not only his growth, but his temptations as well. He goes on to describe how his pride gave him trouble over the years, and he constantly needed to ask for forgiveness. Andy quotes John Wimber’s statement (2) “the big question is “What are you going to do when everything goes right?”
Andy moves on to describing what intimacy has to do with worship. He describes the thief on the cross and proposing a very interesting question with (3) “was it fair for Jesus to forgive this man just because of his last minute confession?” Andy moves on from there to talking about repentance of a normal life, and daring to draw near to Jesus. He talks about Moses’s’ ministry and the Promise Land, and briefly warns about material wealth being a stumbling block.
Chapter five starts touching on the different roles of the worship leader, and also describes the biblical perspective on worship leaders. Park states that (4) “nowhere in the New Testament is the emphasis on any particular person filling the role of the worship leader.” This section of the book also talks how the priests carried the Ark of the Covenant in to the Jordan River and Nebuchadnezzar’s anger against Shadreach, Meshack, and Abednego. He describes their stand as (5) “they were making a stand – they belonged to God and would be true to Him and would submit to no other power regardless of what happened to them. There worship was expressed through making a choice for God.”
Moving forward, Andy stirs the thoughts of priest, prophesy, and healing in worship. He brings up the topic of physical healing, to which I have mixed feelings on, and shares some stories of people that have received healing in his own life. Next, park addresses the mysterious power of music with (6) “King David, we see music employed as a healing balm for the human soul. As David played his harp, evil spirits were driven away from Saul. This wasn’t music alone – it was the anointing of the Holy Spirit.” He also quotes Martin Luther statement (7) “Winsome art of music – one of the fairest and most glorious gifts of God, to which Satan is hostile, since it drives away temptations and evil thoughts…music is one of the finest of the arts; the notes enliven the text, and it drives away the spirit of sadness.”
After hitting on evangelism and teaching, Andy moves into “The Worship Team” section. I found this section to be the most helpful for me in this season of my ministry. Andy hits on all of the levels with choosing worship team members. He goes through musical level, classical training vs. playing by ear, Godly character in team members, Godly parents and spouses, all the way to impartiality. I found it very interesting that he thinks (8) “the best solution to classical training is to learn to play by ear, not just from written score. Another problem in being limited to playing written music is that often there are no written parts available for keyboards or symphonic instruments for contemporary songs.”
Andy moves through a vast array of topics including spiritual warfare, maintaining purity in male-female relationship, and being a serving arm of the church. In this particular section Andy explains the serving arm of the church as (9) “playing on a worship team involves far more than musical experience. It’s a small network of relationships that’s connected to the larger network of the church.”
Chapter eleven jumps into actually preparing the worship set. Andy starts this section by boldly stating (10) “Worship leading is a spiritual art.” He continues on in the section by addressing several key topics such as song selection, preparing your set, building your set, and the curve of a worship set. The twelfth chapter deals with delivering the worship set, and thirteen hashes out the ins and outs of rehearsal and presentation. This is where Andy encourages listening to CDs, experimenting in rehearsals and professional attitude.
Lastly Andy Park gives us his insight on the craft of songwriting. He basically states that he never started out to be a songwriter, but somehow God had a plan. Andy gives great back story to how he stopped trying to get into Christian music, and this was when God used him. Once he started to get more recognition, Andy found himself surrendering over and over again. Andy Park – “Keeping a pure heart is a battle.”
1) Andy Park, To Know You More (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 15
2) Andy Park, To Know You More (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 23
3) Andy Park, To Know You More (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 33
4) Andy Park, To Know You More (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 64
5) Andy Park, To Know You More (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 70
6) Andy Park, To Know You More (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 78
7) Andy Park, To Know You More (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 78
Andy Park, To Know You More (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 98
9) Andy Park, To Know You More (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 110
10) Andy Park, To Know You More (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 158