Tim Keller on Evangelistic Worship

Pastor Tim Keller shares what I think are some very helpful ideas about preparing for and communicating the gospel to unbelievers in Sunday worship. To understand what he means by “evangelistic worship” you may need to read the entire article. He doesn’t mean using a pre-packaged form of “seeker-sensitive” or “traditional” worship. He believes worship is best fashioned with a view to the Bible, the cultural context and the historic tradition of each particular church. Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite.

“Getting Unbelievers Into Worship:

Non-Christians do not get invited into worship unless the worship is already evangelistic. The only way to have non-Christians in attendance is through personal invitation by Christians…

…Christians will instantly sense if a worship experience will be attractive to their non-Christian friends. They may find a particular service wonderfully edifying for them and yet know that their nonbelieving neighbors would react negatively… [T]he best way to get to get Christians to bring non-Christians is to worship as if there were dozens and hundreds of skeptical onlookers. And if you worship as if, eventually they will be there in reality.

Making Worship Comprehensible to Unbelievers:

Worship and preach in the vernacular…Explain the service as you go along…Directly address and welcome nonbelievers…Cultivate high-quality aesthetics…Celebrate deeds of justice and mercy…Present the sacraments in ways that make the gospel clear…Preach grace…”

Copyright 2001 by Timothy Keller, 2009 by Redeemer City to City

Read the whole article.

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