Before delving into the manuscript, one must first understand the man and the ministry. As a founding member of the Love Fellowship Crusade Choir under the directorship of one of New York’s favorite ministers, Pastor Hezekiah Walker, Estee has allowed The Almighty to shape him into more than a mere choir member and accepted the call of ministry by serving as Praise & Worship Leader at the Love Fellowship Tabernacle in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. As a burgeoning producer, he has also written for well-known gospel artists in the Tri-State area including his mentor and spiritual shepherd Hezekiah Walker, as well as the New York Metropolitan Choir, Donovan Henry, and NYC’s newest ambassadors, Jules Bartholomew & Judah Camp. Over the last twenty years, Estee has faithfully served at the feet of the Master and has chosen, not to pocket his talent but to share his experience and his insight in this, his newest project.The art of Shakespeare is a difficult one to master. The written word has the remarkable power to inspire, intrigue and even assuage the most hardened heart. Quoting from the scripture found in Habakkuk 2:2 which says “…write the vision and make it plain… that he may run that reads it”, Estee Bullock has valiantly endeavoured to translate his passion for the Word (and work) of God into an easy-to-read manual for the Praise & Worship leader in his first publication entitledWorship: Cause & Effect.
Aptly subtitled A Sacred Lifestyle of Devotion Producing Tangible Results, this 129-pager is an easy read that simplifies the vocation of the Praise & Worship Leader without compartmentalizing it into the inane step-by-step format popularized by inspirational literature. Instead, Estee focuses on the worship contingent of Praise & Worship and explains how the local minister of music must live a life of perpetual devotion in order to effectively lead a congregation into the coveted presence of God. To borrow the words of Bishop Kenneth Moales Jr. in defining the intent of this oeuvre, “This book speaks to the original intent of worship and offers a glimpse into the mind of God about worship”
Worship: to show great reverence, as to a divine being; also idolize or adore. This definition, taken from The New York Times Everyday Dictionary prefaces the chapters to follow and sets the atmosphere to the forthcoming words of wisdom. You may note that this definition is devoid of the praise contingent of Praise & Worship. A deliberate omission on the part of the author, the focus is on the adoration and adulation portion of church and not the hand-clapping, foot-stomping, praise-him-like-you-lost-a-loved-one part church-goers revel in so commonly. In explaining his take on worship, Estee Bullock chooses not to rely on his own wisdom but delves in to the pages of the Holy Book, quoting from the 23rd verse of John Chapter 4 which says “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him”
The premise of seeking the Father is echoed throughout the pages of Worship: Cause & Effect. Its ten concise chapters are unvarnished principles to live, while sparsely adorned by appropriate scriptural references and anecdotal tidbits that personalize the reading experience. The Cause & Effect portion of the book is a way that the author has of bringing his point home at the end of each chapter. He writes lucid statements to remind readers that devotion as a deliberate act will result in a deepening of one’s relationship with Christ and increase and elevate one’s effectiveness in the ministry.
Without giving away the best parts, I will say this: if you are a Praise& Worship Leader and you take your position of ushering in the presence of God seriously, then this is the perfect accompaniment to your hymnal. Estee Bullock unabashedly reminds readers that Praise & Worship is much more than singing, but is a lifestyle of prayer, devotion, and testimony which effortlessly translates onto the pulpit of Divine service. He also speaks to the importance of cultivating a relationship with the shepherd of the church, in order for the worship service and the preached word to be seamless as one is the natural prelude to the other.
Whether you are a Praise & Worship leader or an avid participant, Estee Bullock, singer, songwriter, and now author has succeeded in this project to remind us that worship is not a musical genre, nor something simply confined to the Sabbath morning service, but a lifestyle of devotion to the maker of all. And to once again borrow the words of Pastor Kenneth Moales Jr. “Allow this book to guide your pilgrimage from the valley of praise up to the mountain of worship” .
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