The Problem with Attractional Worship Services


For whom should worship services be designed? Should their intended purpose be evangelism, discipleship, or both? Should seekers (non-Christians) be in mind, or Christians already in the faith? In today’s Seven Minute Seminary video, Dr. Steven Bruns looks back to history in order to discover the models used by the church during some of the church’s most vibrant eras. The video will challenge some of the common assumptions about church services in America.

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Dr. Steven Bruns is Chair of Ministry and Theology Department at Central Christian College of Kansas. He has been in ministry since 2000 and is a pastor with the Free Methodist Church. He is a graduate of London School of Theology (PhD 2011) and has done post-doctoral work at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Early Christian Discipleship and Spirituality. He is the author of Full Tables, Closed Doors, Open Fields.


  1. The concept of confusing evangelism with worship leads to neither being done well is something that I witnessed and experienced first hand in my long time local church. When worship was made “relevant” in a very heavy-handed and dictatorial way church became a complete train wreck for me. I am still associated with that church, but it is not what it once was; it is a completely different church with a completely different personality inhabiting the same facility and I do not know how to relate to it. Worship attendance is much lower across three worship services–which now includes a cutting edge contemporary service–than when the church had two traditional worship services and the vast majority of people attended the late morning service which was done with intention and focus on God. During “the change”, a person who attended the early service told me that the late morning service was the heartbeat of the church. It is very obvious that there is no longer a single heartbeat.


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