Resisting today's postmodern transformation -
- from a Spirit-led church based on God's Word to a Purpose-Driven model adapted to culture and modern marketing strategies
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Question: Do you have any information on churches that have successfully resisted the purpose-driven movement to date. If so, please share how they were able to withstand the pressure to participate? A great number of us are in constant prayer over the crisis in our churches.
Note: This question was posted with a request for answers from our visitors. Below are two responses:
Answers from visitors:
I think a spiritually healthy church should have no problem with this. If the pastor and congregation are really sincere in following God's Word then they stick with the Bible on all things. Of course this won't help the church become popular and gain a lot of new members. But what is your main desire; to become large or to be pleasing to God?God WILL bless those churches that honor to His word. A pastor needn't worry that his church will become empty. There will ALWAYS be those of us that will ONLY worship in a church that doesn't abide by "new and improved" worship services. We may be small in number, but we WILL be sitting in the pew every Sunday.
...if it were me that I would have to evaluate my being a part of such a church.
What are the true marks of the Christian church? I have been taught that they are:
1. The preaching of the Word
2. The administering of the sacraments
Dr. Godfrey has written an excellent pamphlet entitled: Pleasing God In Our Worship. He discusses-- worship wars, the need for true worship, the character of worship, leadership in worship, music and worship, entertainment, evangelism and worship and worshiping with the heart. I highly recommend it. Anyway, he offers the following questions that one can ask themselves in making such an evaluation.
With so many approaches to worship and so much variety from church to church, the Christian must become an evaluator of worship. The question "How should we worship?" is inevitably linked to the question "Where should we worship?" Once we know what pleases God in worship, we need to be where such worship occurs.
- How much do I know about what the Bible says about worship?
- Who can help me learn more about Biblical worship?
- Do I want above all to draw near to God in worship?
- Do I want to please God rather than myself in worship?
- Do I ;understand my responsibility to worship God with his people regularly?
- Will I seek God's will in worship while avoiding a judgmental and legalistic spirit toward others?
You also need to ask these questions about the worship of any church you plan to attend:
- Does this church love and believe the Bible?
- Is the worship of this church filled with the Word of God?
- How much of the service is given to the reading of the Bible?
- How much of the service is given to biblical prayer?
- How much of the service is given to singing that is biblical in content and character?
- what is the content of the preaching?
- Is preaching a substantial part of the service?
- Is the Law of God clearly present in the service?
- Is the Gospel of Jesus Christ clearly expressed and central in the service?
- what is the role of the sacraments in the ministry of the church?
- Are there elements of the service that are more entertaining than biblical?
- Are both joyful thanksgiving and reverent awe expressed and balanced in the service?
We cannot be casual about matters of worship. They are too important. We need to be thoughtful and biblical. To do that we need to shoulder our personal responsibility to study and pray about worship. We should seek help from faithful ministers and friends. And we must seek a church where worship id faithful to God's Word.
----taken from Dr. Robert Godfrey's Pleasing God In Our Worship