The Purpose, Pattern, and Character of Worship

The Purpose, Pattern, and Character of Worship

by L Edward Phillips

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Within the broad range of Christianity we find diverse understandings of what makes for “good worship.” The Purpose, Pattern, and Character of Worship develops a typology of Christian worship to provide a method of assessing the decisions of congregations and leaders in forming and changing the orders of their worship.

Among contemporary western Protestants, we identify at least six discrete characteristics of worship:

-the Revival,

-the Sunday School,

-the Aesthetic Revival,

-the Pentecostal/holiness movement,

-the Prayer Meeting,

-the twentieth-century Catholic Liturgical Renewal.


These patterns define contemporary expression as:

-Seeker Worship,

-Creative Worship,

-Traditional Worship,

-Praise Worship,

-House Church Worship,

-Word and Table Worship.

Absent an overall authority for the structure of worship (such as the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer), many Protestant congregations have developed a “conflation of patterns,” which often creates incoherent worship. This book helps leaders define the purpose, character, and pattern of their community’s worship.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781791004699
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication date: 10/06/2020
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

L. Edward Phillips is Associate Professor of Worship and Liturgical Theology, at Candler School of Theology of Emory University. Dr. Phillips has interests in the practical and pastoral aspects of the historical church how the church conducted worship, initiated Christians, and organized ministries as a way to understand the development of Christian theology and practice for the present. He is editor-in-chief of the journal Liturgy. From 2001-2004, he served as chair of the Holy Communion Study Committee for the General Conference of The United Methodist Church. In his role as chair, Phillips traveled extensively, meeting with Methodists throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa. In 2009, Dr. Phillips was invited to participate in the Roman Catholic-United Methodist dialogue on the Eucharist, sponsored by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and The United Methodist Church. He is currently working on a book on the development of contemp

Table of Contents

Preface vii

1 Worship Today: What's Going on Here? 1

2 Six Character Types of Protestant Worship 17

3 Worship as Motivational Technology: The Revival 37

4 Worship as Education: The Sunday School 67

5 Worship, Art, and Social Class: Aesthetic Worship 99

6 Spiritual Power and Carnal Ecstasy: Pentecostal Worship 129

7 Democratic Worship: The Prayer Meeting 155

8 The Catholic Model: Liturgical Ordo and Deep Traditions 181

9 Conflated Worship: Coherence and Incoherence in Liturgical Order 209

10 Worship Patterns Online 237

Conclusion: Good Worship? 249

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