Encountering God Together

In 2013 IVP UK published my latest book Encountering God Together: Biblical Patterns for Ministry and Worship. This paperback was written to help everyone involved in planning and leading church services think more biblically and creatively about this important ministry. Questions for review and reflection at the end of each chapter make it possible to use the book as a basis for group discussion. Pastors could especially consider using it as a training resource for those who share in the leadership of services.

The book begins by applying the biblical theology I outlined in Engaging with God to what we do when we gather as Christians. So there are chapters on The Gathering of God, Worshipping God, Edifying the Church and Patterns of Service. Then, there are chapters exploring specific issues such as Listening to God, Praying Together, Praising God, Singing Together, Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

My prayer is that a better interaction with biblical teaching will cause those who lead congregational worship to reflect and plan and contribute more effectively. Our aim should be to honour and glorify God, as we take our part in the edification of his church. But we cannot do this unless we engage more honestly and holistically with what he has revealed to us in Scripture, considering also the way Christians throughout history have responded to its challenges.


Almost fifteen years ago, David Peterson’s book Engaging with God rocked my world. I had never read a book that so effectively combined faithful biblical scholarship with a passion for the gospel and linked both of them to what we call “worship.” It remains my number one book to recommend on the theology of worship. His new book, Encountering God Together, is a long-awaited follow-up, providing biblical, practical, and insightful guidelines for thinking through how God wants us to meet with him as we meet with each other. He covers a broad range of topics including prayer, Scripture reading, preaching, bodily expression, liturgy, evangelism, and emotions. And as you’d expect, the beauty and power of Christ’s atoning work shine throughout. Tight in all the right places and encouraging biblically informed freedom everywhere else, Encountering God Together should be read by anyone involved in planning or leading gatherings of the church.’   

Bob Kauflin, Sovereign Grace Ministries, USA

‘David Peterson has done an excellent job in applying the theological framework of his earlier book, Engaging with God, to the practical realities of corporate worship within the life of the church. This book is fair-minded and generous, full of biblical insight and practical wisdom. Leaders of churches, congregations, preachers and musicians alike will all benefit from it.’

John Risbridger, Minister and Team Leader, Above Bar Church, Southampton; Chair of Keswick Ministries

‘What a breath of fresh air for our meeting with God and one another! David brings his theological insights and his pastoral longings together to help us reflect on how we do church in community. This is a wonderfully healthy and practical guide and challenge for those who lead and speak in Christian gatherings, but also for all of us who participate. To know better what we are doing and why will help us to make the very most of these times.’

Paul Perkin, St Mark’s Battersea Rise, London

6 Replies to “Encountering God Together”

  1. Dear Dr Peterson,
    Thank you for your ministry! I read your book Engaging with God while in seminary and I’ve been seeking to apply it’s biblical wisdom in my church’s gathered worship and mission ever since! So I’m overjoyed to hear about your new book coming out soon.

    I remember being convicted and elated when I read your exhortation on pg 21 “Vitality and meaning will not be restored to Christian gatherings until those who lead and those who participate can recover a biblical perspective on their meetings, seeing them in relation to God’s total plan and purpose for his people.” That quote has haunted me and inspired me in my pastoral ministry for the past 10 years. And by God’s grace its application has been bearing fruit in my pastoral ministry here in Windham Maine.

    If you’re ever in the states, I’d love to connect!

  2. Rev Dr David Peterson
    Dear David,
    A daily email came this week on ‘Worship Quotes’ and there was one from your book “Encountering God Together: Biblical Patterns for Ministry and Worship.” The quote concluded with “………..We meet with God in the presence of one another and meet with one another in the presence of God”
    Simply caught my attention as I recalled years ago purchasing your book “Engaging with God” and found it quite helpful. I have now ordered online the one I have just come across, “Encountering God Together……..”
    I am but a simply lay person (Lay Preacher with my local Uniting Church congregation in NE Melbourne) and initiated in 2004 a Thursday afternoon worship service among folk who live with a mental illness. My style is to prepare an A5 x 10-12 page booklet with CD songs printed out and complementary bits of clipart. (average attendance is around 12).
    The format of the liturgy has evolved to include fresh understandings of the theological underpinnings of worship and liturgy.
    In recent years I prepare around 35 weekly liturgies (some ordained ministers are also involved from time to time and fill out the remainder of the year).
    So, I look forward to reading your book when it arrives.
    What I am reading at the moment is “The God we Worship – an exploration of liturgical theology” by Nicholas Wolterstorff.
    Best wishes,
    (80 next birthday)

  3. Hi David

    just started reading ECT and enjoying it v much. Any chance you would like to come and preach on a couple of chapters from it at Belmore – St Albans some time in the future?

  4. Hi David. Good to hear from you again. I would be happy to consider a couple of sermons as you suggest. Contact me by email when you have some dates in mind. Obviously it would be better after the COVID restrictions are over. Love to Dot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.