Sunday Guests by Peter Toon

Sunday Guests

Peter Toon on Eucharist, Edification & Evangelization

I recall the days when the Salvation Army called the Sunday morning service the “Holiness Meeting” and the evening service “Evangelism Meeting.” That is a careful and workable distinction between a service of worship, edification, and calls unto holiness for believers, and a service to which others were invited with a view to converting them to Jesus Christ. Many churches today, especially those much into “church growth,” have conflated, confused, and complicated the relation of evangelism to worship.

In the early Church, only the baptized who were in good standing (and not under church discipline) were allowed to stay for the second half of the Eucharistia (the Thanksgiving) on the Lord’s Day. Visitors were dismissed at the end of the Ministry of the Word. Even catechumens were dismissed at this point, for to be preparing for church membership was not sufficient for attendance at the Lord’s Table.

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