The church, once founded and established to make a difference in the lives of others and in society, has in time of change and confusion tended to adopt a diminished purpose and vision. Seeing or sensing that earlier roles and purposes--conscience of the community, instrument of aid, and center of the community--no longer quite worked, and yet unsure of other directions, too many churces have adopted as their implicit purpose the maintenance of a congenial community for their members. And the measure of a minister and church has become how well they keep the membership satisfied. [p. 31]
Too often worship in the mainline churches is an information event rather than a formational and transformational event. But if information were all that was needed to save us, we would have been redeemed long ago...Worship is the encounter with God--it is meeting, and being met by--the Holy One...In the Christendom era, and in many mainline churches today, worship is nice but is not absolutely necessary, not critical. In our new time, worship will be experienced as essential, not something you can miss.