Quotes from Books I'm Reading, part 3

Currently there is a growing awareness that worship is the central ministry of the Church: Worship is the center of the hourglass, the key to forming the inner life of the Church. Everything the Church does moves toward public worship, and all its ministries proceed from worship. Good worship creates community, evangelical warmth, hospitality to outsiders, inclusion of cultural diversity, leadership roles for men and women, intergenerational involvement, personal and community formation, healing, reconciliation, and other aspects of pastoral care. Because worship is itself an act of witness, it is the door to church growth, to missions and evangelism, and to issues of social justice. Worship now stands at the center of the Church’s life and mission in the world.

Robert Webber, Planning Blended Worship, Abingdon Press, Nashville, TN, 1998, p. 29.

Robert Webber quote

From an interview with Jordon Cooper for TheOoze.com

The pragmatic churches have become institutionalized – with some exceptions. They responded to the sixties and seventies, created a culture-driven church an don’t get that the world has changed again. Pragmatics, being fixed, have little room for those who are shaped by the postmodern revolution. A clash is emerging. The younger evangelicals will not have a voice in the pragmatic, fixed mentality. Stay there and your spirit will die (there are some exceptions, pray for discernment). Many pragmatic churches, like old shopping malls are dying.

Very few people under 30 are in pragmatic churches. The handwriting is on the wall. Leave. Do a start up church. Be a tentmaker. Build communities. Small groups. Neighborhood churches. Be willing to let your life die for Jesus as you break with the market driven, culture shaped, numbers oriented, Wall-Mart-something-for-everyone church. Be an Abraham and take a risk. God will show up and lead the way.

Grab the complete article here.