At Worship's Core: Core Values for the Contemporary Worship Leader (Paperback)
At Worship's Core is a carefully examined investigation of the attitudes and behaviors that welcome the presence of the Lord. Leading worship appears easy, but its effectiveness is wrapped in nuance and complexity over time. Many believe worship is exclusively a musical proposition. And while there is a propensity for worship in church to involve singing, author Dr. Tom McDonald proposes that worship is not about the voice but the heart. "This significant work by worship leader, professor, and author Dr. Tom McDonald immediately captured my attention The title itself, At Worship's Core, stirred my heart, and I was drawn into the riches of its contents" - Glenn C. Burris Jr., president, The Foursquare Church "Dr. Tom McDonald has succeeded in his attempt to reveal what is and how a worship leader should be. His passion to raise a new generation of worship leaders can be seen in this book." - Daniel Kizhakkevila, chief pastor of Full Gospel Churches in India and president of Voice of Gospel Ministries International "On the first day of Hebrew school in medieval Europe, children would sometimes undergo the ritual of kissing honey from the Torah. Sometimes, the honey would be kissed off a slate with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. That's twenty-two kisses. Tom McDonald has written not a five-star book, but a twenty-two-kiss book. The sweet spirit of worship fills every page and chapter. The word we translate as "worship" literally means "to kiss toward," and this book is a textbook on how worship can be a holy kiss back toward the God who kissed us into life and keeps us alive, kiss by kiss." - Leonard Sweet, author of The Bad Habits of Jesus, professor, and founder of www.preachthestory.com.
Tom McDonald knew when he was five years old that his future would be a musical one. His parents lovingly provided a piano and top-notch instruction. He began to accompany the church choir at thirteen and began to conduct that choir at age nineteen. From that inauspicious start, those twenty voices grew to two hundred, and the Trinity Choir developed a citywide ministry which ultimately led to performances in the prestigious Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. During those twenty years of service, Dr. McDonald earned degrees in music education, with an emphasis in piano and choral conducting, as well as a PhD in church music administration. He and his family moved to Los Angeles in 1994 to serve the ministry of Jack W. Hayford and The Church On The Way. The next fifteen years were divided into two parts, and he spent five years as a denominational leader in between. Following that experience, he received a call back to his LA roots and considered that opportunity one of the most extraordinary events of his pastoral life. It is one thing to serve a growing congregation, but to be invited back to serve a second time was an unexpected and heartwarming compliment. During his service in both long-term church settings, McDonald also taught music and worship studies in seminaries and Bible colleges. He completed forty years of service in 2014. Soon thereafter, as a surprise second act, he accepted a post as choral director at Roosevelt High School in downtown LA. This at-risk institution is essentially populated by Latino students for whom many are bilingual. Most qualify for Title I support. In this new mission field, Tom continues to serve, to love those around him and press for musical excellence. Recently one of his students, in halting English, said, "Dr. McDonald, I have place for you in my heart!" Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org