Seeker-oriented contemporary churches argue that worship does not need to present the whole gospel. The purpose of worship, they say, is to get people in the door. Then, after they have gained a hearing, they present the gospel in small-group settings. This argument may be good marketing, but it fails to understand the biblical purpose of worship. Worship brings glory to God because it remembers God’s saving deeds in the past and anticipates God’s culmination of his saving deeds in the new heavens and new earth.

-Robert E. Webber, Ancient-Future Worship: Proclaiming and Enacting God’s Narrative
(Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2008), 85.

This seems semi-controversial to me.  I’m not sure if this understanding is always verbalized this way, but it’s good to talk about as we remember that what we believe at a basic level about worship will direct our practice.

SO, what do you think?

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2 thoughts on “

  1. Never in the scriptures do we see Jesus inviting or nudging the lost to come with him to the local synagogue or church. Instead, he goes out to meet them right where they are. And even after we see people begin to follow Jesus in the scriptures, He doesn’t tell them ‘now go to your local synagogue or get over to the Temple in Jerusalem and listen to that great music they’ re playing over there.’ Instead He simply invites them to either spend a lot of time with Him (as in the case of the 12 disciples) or get back to life but in a new way.

    Worship, in the sense of music and singing at a gathering of believers, is for God’s glory and the edification of the Body of Christ. If He decides to awaken or attract someone to Him through this vehicle of worship (as He did with this writer), that is His perogative. However, we do not diminish the worship due Him nor the necessary building up of the Body in order to make ‘church’ more attractive to a seeker. The focus always belongs on God.

    Our lives of worship…meaning the condition of our hearts on a daily basis before God and the fruits of the Spirit exhibited in our attitudes, relationships, deeds, worldview, and proclamation of the Word..as Jesus Himself demonstrated while walking the earth in obedience to the Father…are what attract seekers and offend others.

    This is not meant to say that a seeker is unwelcome at or cannot be invited to ‘church’. It is to say that a seeker needs to be sought and that the glory of God is our priority in everything. This is the privilege and partnership we have as we walk with Jesus day to day.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Tami. I think you bring up an interesting point that Jesus models us going out to the lost and living with them instead of our model of “invite them to church”. We need to keep seeking seekers and that the glory of God is our priority.

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