“A lot can change in eight hundred years—from altar, to pulpit, to projector. Many Protestants took pride in the fact that they had gotten rid of the altar and its “idolatry of the Mass,” replacing it with the pulpit. And many evangelicals flaunt the fact that they have gotten rid of the pulpit with its stifling dogma and overly intellectual teaching, replacing it with a hip, young, life coach “sharing a few thoughts” from a four-legged stool. From ordained priest, to compelling preacher, to magnetic personality—that has been the transformation of the church’s corporate worship in the last thousand years. However, as evangelical churches today struggle to come to terms with just what they’re supposed to be doing during Sunday morning worship, very few are considering the simplicity and sensibility of the early church’s approach to worship.
Ideally we should envision the primary purpose of the church’s worship as twofold—proclamation and response . . . pulpit and altar . . . word and worship. Together this inseparable unity focuses the church’s entire worship in a specifically Godward direction. It transforms the gathered local body of Christ from a passive audience to active participants, calling believers weekly to live up to the covenant commitment of their baptism through covenant renewal at the table of the Lord.”
– Michael J. Svigel, RetroChristianiity