In Rhythms of Grace, Mike guides us through a biblical history and theology of worship, from the Garden of Eden to the wilderness, the period of temple worship, and the coming of Jesus.
Then he unveils his "Worship One, Two Three" paradigm, showing that worship has:
One Object and Author: God
Two Contexts: The Church Scattered and the Church Gathered
Three Audiences: God, The Church (each other), and the World
When we understand this, a lot of the practical and theological questions disappear. We stop arguing whether to sing songs to God or to sing them about God (the answer is "both"). We stop arguing whether worship service planning should focus on our church family or the "seeker's" in our community (both).
Perhaps the most contentious part of Rhythms of Grace will be Mike's critique of the Temple Model of worship service planning (often called the Wimber Model, after John Wimber, one of the founders of the Vineyard movement). I won't go into the argument here, but urge you -- no matter where you stand in this debate now -- to read Mike's critique with an open mind.
You'll also find a full description of "liturgy" that will take the mystery out of that term and teach you how to craft services that repeatedly "tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love" (to borrow a phrase from the hymn "I Love To Tell The Story"). He ends with a chapter devoted specifically to singing, and a chapter on "The Pastoral Worship Leader."
The Appendix includes several sample "Orders of Service" from different churches, a list of Recommended Resources (books, websites and more), and a short, practical section on technical challenges for church audio and congregational singing -- advice about sound equipment, instruments, audio engineering, room setup and more.
I've learned a lot from Mike over the years. And many of his mentors have become people that I've also learned from, following introductions by Mike, such as Bob Kauflin, Kevin Twit, Harold Best and the late Chip Stam. Now with this book, you can quickly and repeatedly benefit from the wisdom and experiences Mike has gained. His writing style is engaging, and he simplifies complex subjects without reducing them to simplistic formulas or platitudes.