Book Review-The 6 Marks of Progressive Worship Music

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The 6 Marks of Progressive Christian Worship Music Bryan Sirchio

Emotional Response-3

Scholarly Response-5

As a youth, I went to multiple Bryan Sirchio concerts in neighboring churches. So his name has been familiar to me for decades. A few years ago, a congregation member asked me about this book, and I wholeheartedly recommended it to her based only on knowing that Bryan Sirchio wrote the book. Finally, I have read it and now I can recommend based on the book.

Music is very important to many people in the church. In this book, Bryan Sirchio takes a reverent look at how to select music for worship. He looks at this thoughtfully, theologically, and faithfully. His book is easily readable and would be a great discussion starter in a church with music questions. It would also be a good book for anyone wondering how to be more intentional about music selection for worship. He doesn’t provide the answers. He provides the framework for each church to discern its own answers. And that truly is a gift!

This book is divided into 3 sections. Section 1 is the essential features of progressive worship music.

The 6 Marks-

1-An Emphasis on Praise, Justice, and the Fullness of Human Experience

2-Inclusive Language

3-Progressive Theology

4-An Emphasis on both the Individual and the Community

5-Emotional Authenticity

6-Fresh Images, Ideas, and Language

Section 2 is entitled “Worship, Songs, and Ego Work”. This section of the book tackles issues like what is worship, musical styles, and performance.

Section 3 is entitled “The Bible and More about Progressive Theology.” This is a great section for anyone that wants more information about the biblical basis for progressive theology and all the marks mentioned earlier.

Who should read this book? Anyone who cares about music in the church should read this book. I highly recommend this book to pastors, musicians, worship planning teams, and seminarians. This book would work well as a discussion starter for a small group in your church. If your council or session is brave enough to tackle the world of music in the church, this is a great starting point. Each chapter ends with discussion questions which make this an easy to discuss book! This book is accessible and easy to read and anyone can do it!

Worship “helps us to find ourselves once again inside of God’s greater Story, instead of trying to somehow make God fit within the confines of our smaller stories” (92).

“I’m convinced that congregations grow in healthy ways not because of the style with which they worship, but because the church is helping people to experience God’s transforming and healing Love” (110).

“But it’s precisely because we can be wrong, even when it comes to positions we hold passionately, that we need to do our own wrestling and questioning of Scripture together with other people who also love God, who doesn’t always agree with us, and who can challenge us and keep us honest and open” (145).



  1. Ouida

    I am so glad that you provided this review, reminded me of its contents, and affirmed my thoughts about the book.

  2. SusannahDB

    Thanks for the book recommendation.
    And thanks for loving music, worship, and the church!

  3. […] According to the House Church Manual worship is to include praise, prayer, Scripture discussion, offering, and communion. Why only praise? I think it would benefit those leading a house church to read Bryan Sirchio’s book on worship music. […]

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