Church Reduced to Worship

Much of church in the modern day, whether traditional or contemporary, has been reduced to what we do on Sunday morning. I think at times that I could start a comparative religion class equating Islam, Judaism and Christianity without much fuss. But let the praise team wear jeans or shorten the Eucharistic prayer to accommodate a guest preacher or personal testimony and folks begin amassing the pitchforks (once the battle was literally over the consumption of cookies). The mall of worship is where the vast majority of consumers have their most frequent experience of church. Too often worship is about personal preference and that contributes more and more to shallowness, exercising it and affirming it alternatively. If we further consumerism in the way we worship, will not the people shaped by it be consumers in the areas of theology and ethics and even things like evangelism and discipleship.

The ancient future church has an intense interest in neutralizing the worship wars so that the church can get back to its purpose. I long for the day when the Body, not just the pastor and/or staff but every member, is as passionate about a transformed life as they are the length of service and the attire of people leading or attending. In my experience, both ancient and future churches lose sight of reaching the lost, discipling the found and loving those on the margins when they make the form of worship (insisting on traditional or contemporary only) the perpetual center of the debate.

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