(Sorry, too many typos in the first attempt!)Quite the article. Lots of great points and exhortations. Her mega-church illustrations aside, however, I'd like to think that an increasing number of tribes are catching the vision of what Sally's talking about. We just don't hear about the little tribes as much. :-)
I feel like I'm wearing out the same-ol, same-ol, Nate, but I wonder if such a paradigm shift in worship in most deeply-entrenched, established churches can happen without strong, unafraid leadership and a vision with feet on it? Some denominational frameworks would make that very hard, for one thing. And people by nature are comfortable with the way things are and have been. (That isn't an excuse, just an observation.) ....So, not to belabor the obvious, it would seem that the best opportunity for this approach to full-orbed worship would be in a church plant where old and familiar ways don't have to be undone.
Also, I do think there is a place for "temple" ministry unto the Lord--glorifying Him simply for Who He is in a corporate gathering place--witness the examples given by the OT Levites and David's temple worship. These were not geared to appeal to "unbelievers" and were unashamedly bold in glorifying God, whether one gets a spiritual buzz out of it or not--He is simply worthy! ...Why must everything we do be inclusive, or done as to not scare off anyone who wouldn't understand the pageantry and passion of pouring one's life out before the Lord in adoration? There's a balance here, isn't there? The argument that one should do such things in private and leave all public worship to "safer" expressions of worship that will cater to believer and seeker alike just doesn't make sense. I don't think Sally is saying this at all, but at the same time, there is this thought out there that we've got to "rein in all this passionate worship stuff" because it is not really evangelistic, and go to something more mainstream, understandable, and non-threatening.
To me, there is worship as adoration and worship as evangelism/service; they are separate and yet they overlap. Didn't Jesus illustrate this kinda-sorta with Mary and Martha? It should not be either/or but pursuing the best of both upward and horizontal.
Perhaps I am speaking to the choir here.Steve
I agree. One of my mottos for our church is, "God desires worshippers who are so passionately in love with Him that the church cannot contain them and the world cannot deny them." I think that the best kind of worship evangelism is uninhibited worship, on Sunday mornings, in our private lives, in the community, etc.I also agree that, unless the leadership is not leading full-on through a transition, a church is not going transition without major conflict.Nate
Now that's a quote worth stealing. :-)
Here were my initial thoughts about the article:To be honest, I always read her book "Worship Evangelism" and thought about “worship as evangelism” as a lifestyle thing more than a Sunday service thing. I do believe that, as we sing and worship on Sunday morning, the unchurched who may be in our services can see our worship and hear about our God...but even more, it’s gotta be a worship lived out in the community. I think this is the transition that NHC is going through right now. I think this is always why the “seeker-driven” worship services scared me a little...not because reaching the unchurched shouldn’t be a huge part of our gatherings, but because it just makes a lot more sense to reach them where they’re at than to try to bring the masses into the church doors. I’ve only seen “it” really work well in a very few places, but it was always related (as Sally mentions) to a very strong presence in the community.Vintage (our young adult, seeker-driven worship event this past summer) was, for me, both a test to see if we could bring the unchurched, emerging generation into the doors of the church and to get our young adults a little more focused on living their lives outside of the church in worship evangelism. I believe that we succeeded to a certain extent with both, but I’m not sure if it’s something we should continue doing as we did it this summer.Sunday mornings for us have been evolving more into that “launching pad” for our church to live worship evangelism in our community Mon-Sat. I think, even, our connection groups have to learn to be another launching pad for the same.The ultimate goal has to be to show people Christ by loving Him and them...it can’t be to bring them into the church. Church is the almost inevitable by-product of coming to know Christ. Most people aren’t going to come to know Christ inside the church building.Nate
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