The late Robert Webber wrote about an evangelical shift back towards the ancient rhythms of Christian worship and spirituality:
Ancient worship . . . does truth. All one has to do is to study the ancient liturgies to see that liturgies clearly do truth by their order and in their substance. This is why so many young people today are now adding ancient elements to their worship. . . . This recovery of ancient practices is not the mere restoration of ritual but a deep, profound, and passionate engagement with truth—truth that forms and shapes the spiritual life into a Christlikeness that issues forth in the call to a godly and holy life and into a deep commitment to justice and to the needs of the poor.
Webber claimed that the way forward from Modernity into Postmodernity would be to discover an ancient-future faith. Ancient, in that it invites us into the historical patterns of worship: the Christian year, lectionary readings, enacting God’s story through liturgy, and spiritual disciplines. This practice places Christ-followers in the ancient story of the Scriptures and in continuity with the early church. It is to celebrate a story that is much bigger than our own personal experiences.
Elements of our worship that are shaped by this ancient-future liturgical thought include:
- Liturgical readings within worship.
- An embrace of the “real presence” of Christ within the Holy Communion. The Eucharist is a means of grace through which the Holy Spirit empowers us as a community to join God’s mission in our neighborhoods, workplaces, families, city, and world. Therefore, we take the elements every Sunday. This is perhaps our one major departure from historical Anabaptist practice and theology.
- Situating Worship within the Christian Calendar: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost.
 Robert E. Webber, Ancient-Future Worship: Proclaiming and Enacting God’s Narrative (Baker Books, 2008), 109.