Ed Stetzer: What would you recommend for a church that doesn't want to follow a traditional liturgy, but does want to format the service in a way that retells or traces the entire gospel story?
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Mike Cosper: I think one beautiful aspect of Church history is the window it provides into the pastoral theology of previous generations. Resources like church liturgies and prayer books are often seen as dusty, stodgy "tradition" - the kind of thing most contemporary Christians and non-Christians would struggle to comprehend. But if we get below the level of language, and if we look hard at what the men who created these resources were trying to accomplish, we get to the pastoral theology - and there's some beautiful stuff there. Traditional liturgies were one way of saying, "Let's reenact the gospel story in the gathering."
I think there's a lot of room to take what's gone before us, reimagine it through new language (and where appropriate, new technology) and try to tune it with the spiritual formation of our congregations in mind.
Frankly, I think everyone should be aiming at fresh language, fresh metaphor, and fresh creativity in the ways we are spurring on and encouraging our churches.