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This book is a companion to Webber's "Journey to Jesus" seminars, held in over 100 American cities from 2000-2003.
The "seeker" model of worship presupposes a split between what goes on during the worship service and how the church evangelizes its members into full discipleship in Jesus Christ. The basic idea is to draw the unchurched in through lively, uplifting services, and then move them into small group ministries that will lead them to a deeper understanding of the Christian life. While this model works well in some, mostly "start-up" congregations, it has been a dismal failure in traditional, established churches, many of which have had to abandon their seeker services.
Robert Webber here proposes an alternative: a model of worship that emphasizes the fact that those who come to worship are at very different points in their spiritual lives. Rather than ignore these differences or gear all of worship to those already established in the faith, he argues that churches should openly recognize the stages of faith through which their members are passing, and structure their worship and ministry to celebrate those stages, openly encouraging Christians to move from spiritual infancy to maturity in Christ.
Robert E. Webber (1933-2007) was Myers Professor of Ministry at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois, and served as the president of the Institute for Worship Studies. His many books include in five vomes in the Ancient-Future series: Faith; Evangelism, Divine Embrace, Time and Embrace, Worship is a Verb and The Younger Evangelicals.