Transformative Worship: Changing Lives through Religious Experience

Transformative Worship: Changing Lives through Religious Experience

by Laurene Beth Bowers

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Transformative Worship: Changing Lives through Religious Experience by Laurene Beth Bowers

When people felt obligated to attend worship, as in 1955, it didn't matter whether or not their religious needs were being met. But since our culture has shifted to giving people a choice, they are seeking something meaningful during worship; something which helps them to change their lives. In the church, we talk a lot about "changing people's lives" but we do not articulate what it is that the church has to offer to those seeking to do so. The author explores what happens during worship to provide a transformative experience and identifies which forms of worship are most conducive to this process. The focus here is on small groups, bible study, and forms of interaction between and among leaders and worshippers. For pastors and leaders discerning what forms of worship to experiment with in order to connect with seekers in their community and bring visitors back a second Sunday, this book offers easy to implement, practical ideas for church growth.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781532606076
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 02/20/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Laurene Beth Bowers is the Conference Associate Minister for Congregational Life and Vitality for the Penn Central Conference United Church of Christ. Having led four congregations in numerical growth as a senior pastor, she now coaches pastors and consults with congregations to develop strategies for reaching out to their community. She is the author of several books on church growth and a frequent keynote speaker at conferences.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Three Cultural Shifts 19

Chapter 2 The Church's Mission 33

Chapter 3 Tire Function of Worship: Theological Reflection and Emotional Expression 46

Chapter 4 Assessing Current Levels of Satisfaction 58

Chapter 5 Interactive Worship: The Flow of Energy and Building Relationships 74

Chapter 6 Faith Sharing and Formation: Witnessing, Small Groups, and Bible Study 89

Chapter 7 New Rituals in Old Wineskins: Holy Days, Baptisms, Weddings, and Funerals 105

Chapter 8 Music and the Diversity of Religious Needs 116

Chapter 9 The Setting of Transformative Worship: Space, Time, and Imagination 129

Chapter 10 Making Changes to Worship: Practical Ways to Deal with Resistance 139

Bibliography 153

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