June 1, 2015: Worship is Formative

Robert E. Webber

The public worship of the church is a prayer of praise and thanksgiving directed, not to people, but to God. This approach is a paradigm shift from the current presentational notion of worship. Today worship is frequently seen as a presentation made to the people. . . . But the ancient church did not design (a contemporary word) worship to reach people, to educate people, or to heal people. Yet in their worship, which was a prayer of praise and thanksgiving offered to God, people were indeed led into contemplation of God’s mighty acts of salvation and stimulated to live a life of participation in the life of God in the life of the world. The point is, of course, that how we pray shapes who we are.

-Robert E. Webber, Ancient-Future Worship: Proclaiming and Enacting God’s Narrative (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2008), 161-162.

About the author

Alumni Director, Practicum Professor, and DWS graduate.