This book addresses the following question: What hope does Eucharistic liturgy bring to the future of churchplanting within the increasingly post-Christian urban centers of the Pacific Northwest and beyond? According to my research of a sample zip code of inner-city Portland, Oregon, only one in four people self-identify with Christianity and fewer than one in five attend church. Churches are shrinking rapidly and closing their doors. Our culture is increasingly defined as post-Christian. The plans of the recent church-planting efforts are losing ground. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but there is significant evidence that the Anglican Eucharistic liturgy will speak today in certain places where other strategies have not.
Section 1 describes the cultural reality of the Pacific Northwest in greater detail and includes the specifics of our unique and localized research (which shows the spiritual state in shocking detail). Within this context we will also explore the Anglican Eucharist as we foreshadow the conclusions to come.
Sections 2 and 3 lay the global-historical continuity of liturgical worship and forms., By the leading of God, the people of Jehovah have voted again and again across generations and cultures—throughout biblical times (section 2) and church history (section 3)—and have concluded that liturgy is meaningful and transcendent.
In section 4 we define the essential dance of contextualization. As the church continues to serve and love into post-Christian culture, it must strive to keep the forms and passions of consistent church history while incarnating the unique and particular voice of each localized context. Out of this, section 5 provides a critique of existing church-planting methods.
Section 6 contains my primary conclusions. It considers the structural viability of birthing liturgical communities in post-Christian localities throughout North America, including a discussion of the Eucharistic liturgy in light of a post-Christian encounter with truth, experience of community, and spirituality. Section 7 further applies the liturgy within this new context.