Pastoral Ministry
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What's the Point?

When my favorite magazine, LEADERSHIP JOURNAL arrives on my desk every quarter, I usually stop whatever I'm doing and thumb through it. First, I read the cover to get a feel for the theme and see if any articles appeal to me. A split second later, I flip through the magazine-from back to front to read the cartoons. When I finally make it to the front, I read the expanded table of contents and make a mental note of what I will read immediately and what I will read later.

The Spring '99 issue centered on worship. Following my normal routine, I found a cartoon that, as far as I'm concerned, summarized the modern culture of worship. A preacher was speaking to a prospect on the front lawn of the church and said, "Our church is so laid back that our early service doesn't start 'til noon." Now that's a new way to gauge the quality of worship!

In our consumer-driven society, Christians go "church shopping" hoping to find a church with just the right blend. Labels like Assembly of God, Baptist or Community aren't enough anymore. Their shopping list might include questions like, is the church charismatic or not? Does the preacher wear a suit or a polo shirt on Sunday morning? Does the church sing long songs or short ones? Are the songs accompanied by an organ, a piano or a computer-driven system? Do I read the words from a hymnal or off a screen? Is the pastor formal or cool? Do we sit on chairs or pews? And on the questions go.

Are we missing the point? A few years ago a young lady told me, "I go to your church because God goes there!" Now that's the point! God's at church--worship Him.

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365 Days includes Volumes 1-4
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Impact Preaching: A Case for the
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