Gospel Centered Worship
This is a print of the New Hobart Wharf from 1849 which is a few years after our church building was finished. Somewhere up there in the top left of the print, about 5 minutes walk away, is a shiny new sandstone church.
It's kind of fun to think that Hobart has grown up around our Presbyterian church. And it's also nice to to think that we still have important ways in which we can help shape our city into the future.
What I really want to say is that the paragraph below from Bryan Chapell has been really helpful to me in the four and a half years I've been here in Hobart, as I've prepared the Sunday services and imagined the kinds of people who will come in and fill the pews each week.
If our worship were ever truly and completely "seeker-oriented," then the purposes of worship would be turned upside down. If worship is more about people than about God, then it is not really worship of him. ... if the worship of God's church is not primarily for God's people, then we deny them the worship they are obliged to give, and we rob God of the worship he is due from them.
Being entirely "seeker-oriented" is not really an option for Christ centered worship. But being "seeker-sensitive" is still an appropriate way to think about worship. Being "seeker-sensitive" is not the same as being "seeker-oriented."
We should remember that in the history of the church there have always been three groups to consider in the planning of worship: the communicants (adult believers), catechumens (children and adult converts learning the faith), and seekers (those examining whether they will claim the truths of the gospel). The Apostle Paul charges the church to be sensitive to the needs of seekers. They are not the focus of the church's worship, but the church is not to plan its worship without their needs in view (1 Cor. 14: 23-25).
Gospel Centered Worship, 138 - 139.