(This is an intermission from my series on “Gifting vs. Office”.) I am currently reading several Emerging Church authors for research for a paper. One of the books that I recently started reading is Dan Kimball’s Emerging Worship. In this book, Kimball argues that churches should change their “weekend worship gathering” (his term) in order to draw “emerging generations” (his term again). While I am not partial to the idea of changing for the sake of culture, he does ask several good questions.
Here is one question that Kimball asks: “Is the weekend worship gathering the most important aspect of church?” His answer is “No.” In fact, he believes that most people will answer “No” while their actions answer “Yes.” Consider this quote:
You may say, “We know our mission isn’t to start a worship service.” You need to probe and ask if you really do know that. What comes to mind when you imagine “success”? Is it a view of people all gathered in a worship service you have created? Or is it a view of a community of worshipers being missionaries in their world, being part of community in smaller settings, and then coming together for a worship gathering? There is a huge difference between the two! Probably what comes to your mind and heart first is what you are building on.
I think Kimball has asked an excellent question.
So, when it comes to the church, what comes to mind when you imagine “success”?