Beyond The Walls

27Sep07

I read and incredible article by Sally Morgenthaler today. Sally is the author of the book “Worship Evangelism”. Great book, with a lot of wisdom. In Sally’s journey, she has come to realize the negative impact her book has made and she has written an article explaining her concerns and her hopes for the future of worship. I would highly recommend you take a moment and read through this, especially if you are a church leader. I heard her speak at the Willow Arts Conference this last Spring and she made mention to her “rethinking” process. This article speaks to what she meant. Here is a quote from the article.

“But let our deepened, honest worship be the overflow of what God does through us beyond our walls.”

Take some time to read her thoughts.

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7 Responses to “Beyond The Walls”

  1. 1 lazrus2

    Thanks for the article that I did find confirming and yet challenging in many ways. I’m still in the slow process of reading Sally’s original book. I tend to think that alot of the ‘worship centered problems’ she referrs to here though were more because ‘man-centered music’ was substituted for authentic God-focused worship. Sometimes I really do wish the ‘center stage’ could disappear into the floor like an orchestra pit to free the worship leaders as well as the congregation to truly ‘fix our eyes on Jesus’ instead of ourselves. I still maintain though that if we do, and He is exalted by our unified ‘effort’, then all who are present there will be ‘drawn to Him’, not us.
    It starts though with leadership who will truly ‘seek His face (not just while ‘doing the service’, but in their own times of private worship together), turn from sin, and humbly pray. THEN He will hear, forgive, and heal our ‘land’ (2 Chron.7:14). I do hope that is part of leadership’s consideration in your present desire to ‘reach the community’. Sheep can’t be ‘herded’ they have to be led, or they scatter. If they are led to ‘green pastures and still waters’ by those who have already fed and watered there, they will mature and multiply. Sally’s closing remark affirms this I think:
    “May you, as leader of your congregation, have the courage to leave the ‘if we build it, they will come’ world of the last two decades behind. May you and the Christ-followers you serve become worshippers who can raise the bar of authenticity, as well as your hands. And may you be reminiscent of Isaiah, who, having glimpsed the hem of God’s garment and felt the cleansing fire of grace on his lips, cried, ‘Here am I, send me.'”
    D-

  2. Thanks lazrus2

    I tend to think that alot of the ‘worship centered problems’ she referrs to here though were more because ‘man-centered music’ was substituted for authentic God-focused worship.

    I agree here but I think it goes a step further. Our worship has to be god centered inside (as well as outside) the church, but we can’t expect people to come inside if we aren’t going outside first. I think this is where her heart is going. Even though I believe that if the amazing power of God is working inside, this will bring people in, there has to be a focus on our going out as well. I think that is her heart and I agree with it.

    Thanks for the challenge and reminder as well, for us to lead. O heard a speaker say, “you can’t take people where you haven’t been”, and I do believe this whole heartedly. I am living everyday to be able to lead

  3. 3 lazrus2

    Your last sentence sounded like it wasn’t finished, or did you just omit the period?
    I do agree that there is an outward evangelistic need, but believe that if people are truly interacting with God inside the church, they will be the ones going out to bring others in (i.e. ‘one beggar telling another where to find bread’?).
    I haven’t corrected any spelling in a while, but your ‘g’ instead of ‘G’ in “god centered inside” does make an important difference I think (? =) Also, my statement about sheep being ‘herded’ is probably not correct, else why call their leaders ‘shepherds’? Maybe ‘driven’ would be a better word choice, but I think you understood the thought anyway.
    Thanks for receiving the ‘challenge’ graciously.
    D-

  4. Hey lazrus2 – The last sentence was finished just no period.

    And, definitely a typo, not surprising 🙂

  5. Oh my goodness. It is a great article on so many levels. I search for songs these days that focus purely on God. There was this phase that contemporary music went through where it seemed like all the songs started with “I” this and “I” that. Jeff and I have talked at length about what it means to worship God, and we truly believe that we have to live that worship out in our lives 24/7. It is a struggle at times, but we strive for it; to be worthy of the title Child of God.

  6. Thanks for the article. I am struggling right now with some of the issues she brought up. Many books and articles seem to want me to put all of my energy into becoming the best “dog and pony show” in town. The right style, songs, look, sermons, programs and marketing will make it happen. While this might grow the numbers, as Sally pointed out, it really only reaches the found and not the lost. I don’t want Church transfers, I want new coverts!

    So I pray, “Give us the keys to this community and teach us to do the necessary heavenly battle and earthly ministry that will bear fruit for Your kingdom.”

  7. I don’t want Church transfers, I want new coverts!

    Yes, this is always something I think about. When our church started, it drew the attention of other church attenders around our valley and it still does. I know we have a task to do in caring for the already saved and discipling them, but not at the expense of reaching the unsaved.



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