It was the goal of this study to explore the role of evangelism in the context of corporate worship. It argues that evangelical churches in North America must rethink their current strategies for corporate worship in light of the Church’s increasingly liminal position in society and missteps concerning the Worship Evangelism movement, and proposes a theology and practice for missional worship that is intrinsically tied to the mission of Jesus Christ.
The first section focuses on the current profiles of worship in the American evangelical church. It compares key denominational and non-denominational statistics while specifically determining how worship contexts interact with mission. Also discussed is the relationship of generational identity to the expansion of worship styles and choices, the assessment of the Worship Evangelism movement and its statistical failure, key problems with embedded theology, and the impact of postmodernism on all aspects of worship design.
The second section concentrates on the biblical and theological foundations of worship and mission in an effort to establish their collaborative relationship. It draws from Scripture and Christian tradition, and it proposes a theology for twenty-first-century missional worship. The third section addresses the critical concerns of defining context and establishing a clear worship mission. Integral to this work are four “framing” elements of missional worship to guide the whole process: a God Focus, a Kingdom Expression, a Community Experience, and a Future Vision.
Statistics presented in this paper confirm that the “worship-driven” evangelism philosophy is ineffective in reaching the unchurched, but successful in attracting transfer Christians from neighboring churches not able to compete with expensive worship productions. In response to this failure, the study challenges churches to pursue a worship mission by refocusing key theological and philosophical rubrics. The project further suggests that evangelical churches move toward a theology and practice of missional worship by defining their mission, defining a specific worship mission, exploring the worship spectrum, and expanding their overall worship paradigm.
Theological Mentor: Kurt Fredrickson, DMin
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Collison, Daniel W., "Toward a Theology and Practice of Missional Worship" (2009). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 3.