Item description for Worship Evangelism: Inviting Unbelievers Into the Presence of God by Sally Morgenthaler...
Overview This is a how-to guide for churches who want to put worship to its biblically intended ends and it includes a study guide.
Publishers Description In Worship Evangelism, Sally Morgenthaler calls the church to consider the remarkable, untapped potential of worship as an opportunity of those who aren't yet followers of Jesus Christ as well as those who are to encounter the presence of God. Combining the best of traditional and contemporary worship music and practices, Morgenthaler shows how to achieve worship that's both culturally relevant and authentic. She helps pastors, worship leaders, and musicians - Understand worship and its attraction for non-Christians - Tear down walls that keep unbelievers from meeting God in church worship - Make worship evangelism happen--in any culture Morgenthaler draws on sound research and her extensive experience as a worship leader to offer an energetic, hands-on approach. Now with a study guide that encourages group discussion and personal action, this timely book offers fresh vision for worship evangelism and provides the strategies to implement it.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 0.8" Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Release Date Jan 3, 1999
Publisher Zondervan Publishing
Edition Student/Stdy Gde
ISBN 031022649X ISBN13 9780310226499 UPC 025986226497
Availability 0 units.
More About Sally Morgenthaler
Sally Morgenthaler is a worship consultant, speaker, and writer. Formerly a church worship coordinator, she now leads seminars on worship throughout the US and Canada. She lives in Littleton, Colorado.
Reviews - What do customers think about Worship Evangelism?
Evangelistic Dec 27, 2006
One Word Review: Evangelistic
I'm interested in worship, but I don't read music and I'm a dirty Lutheran so I don't have much background with "evangelical" worship styles (meaning those styles associated with "evangelical" Christians - who are mostly modern Calvinist/Armenian mixes).
But I want to reach everyone I can with the Gospel, and Morgenthaler gives you ways to do that and things to think about.
The advice in the book is a little outdated, it was written in 1995. Still, seeing the success of churches who have applied some of her principles - I think it's still a book many church leaders and worship planners should read.
Besides, most things that churches do are 10 years behind the times anyway.
Morgenthaler's is actually a pretty easy read. It looks a little daunting at first, but it goes quick. The parts that seem the longest are actually the applications of her theories about worship. The beginning of the book, which contains the theoretical and theological basis for Worship Evangelism, is a fast read that everyone needs to read.
Shelf Status: On the shelf, waiting to be given away to someone who will use it.
Christian-sounding but not Christian Nov 30, 2006
With incredible verbosity and circumlocution Morganthaler encourages churches to become more authentic in their worship while becoming more culturally relevant in their worship style, and thereby attracting the unchurched.
Citing many surveys, she includes the research of George Barna and George Gallup who conclude that the unchurched person is not looking for worship style, but the Bible and its meaning, and a church's beliefs and doctrines. Decrying market-driven approaches to filling the pews, that is, style versus substance, Morganthaler goes on to prescribe changing the worship experience to make it more 'real'; just a different form of style change. Morganthaler encourages churches to be welcoming, tolerant, and inclusive. These words resonate well with the majority of revisionist church leaders.
Her premise is fundamentally flawed:
"The corporate worship event is at the very core of our individual and corporate Christian identities. Worship cements our perceptions of God and of the world around us. In short, it sacramentalizes our world view."
Within this obfuscated prose, she identifies not theology, not truth but the "corporate worship event" as the core of our Christian identities. This presumes the shallowest of approaches to religion and represents, sadly, the depth of teaching prevalent in a majority of American churches.
Morganthaler reveals her lack of Biblical understanding when she states that:
"Separatistic worship is in no way an accurate representation of God or God's church. It is not a divine design ... it is a human invention."
She fathoms neither the Old Testament temple design, nor the jealous nature of God, nor 2 Cor 6:17: "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord".
If we want the visiting unbeliever to be convinced that God is among us, Paul explains that we should focus on prophesying (1 Corinthians 14). Does Paul identify worship in this role?
Morganthaler mentions in passing that church attendance is going down "in all but one sector of the population". Curiously, she neither identifies this sector, nor pursues the reasons for this difference. While identifying reduced attendance as an American phenomenon, and admitting that church growth in Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe is significant, neither does she pursue the differences between the American churches and these others around the world. It is precisely for the reasons Barna and Gallup identify that these other churches are growing.
While rightly identifying disillusionment with mainline denominations to illustrate the move into non-denominational mega-churches, she does not admit the root cause of this disillusionment: a great number of American churches do not preach the gospel. Their theology is not biblically based and they do not adherre to the teaching of the Apostles. The major cause of decreased church attendance is that there is no compelling message in a majority of churches, because they do not believe or teach that the Bible is the word of God. It's not so much that they do not worship "in truth", but that they do not teach truth.
Morganthaler ignores this obvious assessment and instead perseveres to her pre-determined conclusion that it is the experience of worship which is not 'real' or culturally relevant that causes visitors and the disillusioned not to return. While her call for willingness to break the molds of worship style, both traditional and modern, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit is welcome, her lack of emphasis on the gospel as the primary tool of evangelism, and her elevation of worship to this role is misguided. This confusion, no matter how much plausible evangelical terminology it is wrapped in, is still confusion.
Bringing Seekers Into the Worship Experience Jun 8, 2005
In Worship Evangelism, author Sally Morgenthaler beckons the Christian Church to acknowledge the desperate need for a culturally relevant and authentic worship ministry that is centered on Christ. In addition, Morgenthaler emphasizes the enormous evangelistic potential that is available when the presence of God is manifest during corporate worship.
This book helped answer a personal question on how to incorporate seekers in worship services without loosing the true focus of worship-Jesus Christ. Over the years, I have seen many churches attempt a seeker-sensitive or seeker-driven approach to ministry. In an attempt to not be offensive, many of these churches have thrown out traditional liturgical elements, expressive worship, and Christian symbols. They have made evangelism the focus of Sunday meetings and have removed worship altogether. Though evangelism is a mandate from God and there is nothing wrong with evangelistic services, the Christian community does have a responsibility to praise and worship God. Worship Evangelism has revealed to me that churches do not necessarily have to change their worship to reach unbelievers, but they do have to be culturally relevant and be able to instruct and teach unbelievers about what is going on during the worship services.
Excellent Destination, Poor Route Getting There Jul 21, 2002
This book is easily summarized in the following statement: True Christian worship is a powerful tool of evangelism, contrary to the common perception that seekers services are the only way to mass-evangelize in the 21st century.
Morgenthaler again and again emphasizes this point throughout her work. I agree wholeheartedly with her conclusion, but wish she had chosen a better means to support it. This volume draws heavily upon the sociological definitions of "boomer" and "buster." It interviews various worship leaders to get their perspectives on what is currently effective for them in ministry. It rambles in an almost endless explanation of what is required to reach "Seeker Bob" and "Shopper Bruce."
The bottom line here is that Morgenthaler's destination is commendable. Genuine worship CAN reach the unchurched for Christ. Her method of getting the reader to that destination however, is mediocre at best and could stand much improvement.
I would recommend that if anyone is interesting in learning more about this book, borrow, don't buy. Skim, don't read. The time and energy spent in covering every page would be better invested elsewhere.
good insights but unpleasant reading Jun 24, 2002
Ms. Morgenthaler obviously knows what she's talking about, but she seems to have an attitude that she's writing for a group of clueless morons whose only hope is to agree completely with her and do things her way. This poorly edited book is written in a rather sarcastic, condescending tone to the point of ridicule if anyone does not agree with her. I believe most worship leaders will have discovered for themselves through experience Ms. Morgenthaler's insights in worship planning, and her expansive passages on musical programming seem to assume her readers don't even have the musical expertise to find middle "C" on a piano. So I recommend this book if you have little formal musical training and have never led a contemporary worship service and need a crash course in worship direction. Otherwise, spend your time planning your next service.