Dan Kimball on Liturgy, Church Buildings, and Senior Pastors
What actually brings new people to church?

Dan Kimball: The churches I know that are winning new believers and drawing people who did not grow up in the church are not using too many liturgical elements. I think we might be seeing people who were raised within the church and who are tired of the contemporary approach being drawn to the ancient practices. But, at least on the West coast, I'm not seeing young people from outside the church being drawn to liturgy. Every person I know - and obviously I don't know everybody - who has moved into a liturgical context has come out of a very large, contemporary church and they just got burned out on the machine. They now find refreshment in a smaller setting with liturgy.

At the same time, our church is using some liturgical elements like responsive readings and the Doxology, but we're not following a formal liturgy. Either way, I think it's great that some people are engaging liturgy again. It's good for young people to know that Christianity was not born in 1980, but it has ancient roots. Are new people coming to faith? Whether our church is liturgical or contemporary we need to ask that question.

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November 21, 2008

Displaying 1–6 of 6 comments


February 11, 2009  3:46pm

you realy need to show the full article.

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Cornelia Becker Seigneur

December 03, 2008  12:31am

God is the one who draws people to Himself and the church needs to remember that. The crazy things the church does to bring them in- loud music, amps everywhere. Whatever happened to the still small voice. Cornelia Seigneur www.writermom.net inaword@comcast.net

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Scott Lenger

December 02, 2008  9:42am

*my comment is limited to the 2 paragraphs posted as I refuse to sign up for some goofy newsletter. What brings new people to church?? candy pizza coffee free child care multi-media entertainment physically attractive people pretty buildings postcard mailings What forms people to be faithful followers of Christ? the liturgy Don't you think it's possible that church can be both liturgical AND contemporary?

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November 25, 2008  1:45am

Dan, Thank you for the candid comments and truth regarding RELATIONSHIPS versus marketing ploys... I agree with you regarding the temptation to follow a charismatic leader too... Even in a church plant this is hard to combat, but when everyone participates and is part of the movement, it changes the tone and who is worshiped... Jesus is the senior pastor...

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November 21, 2008  4:59pm

Url- What's up with the "teasers"? I think I've asked this before, but didn't see any reply. I love the articles on Out of Ur, but if every one is only a teaser with a "must subscribe to read" requirement, I'll be deeply disappointed.... As far as this article, what a shame that I can't read the rest...it had such promise....

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November 21, 2008  8:18am

Dan, it's good to read your post and I really do like the Doxology. I grew up with responsive readings in my church and, as a child, I liked reading the bold type with the rest of the congregation. It's a great way for the family to worship together. There is one thing that I would greatly appreciate your doing (and I think others might appreciate it too). That is, would you be specific about exactly what you mean when you refer to 'people coming to faith'? I think I know what you mean by that but these days there seems to be some multiple meanings of that phrase. Thanks so much.

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