What A Man Says
This past weekend, my wife and I had the blessing of fellowship with a dear brother and sister in Christ. We had great discussion and experienced a time of wonderful worship together as well. One of the topics that came up was the current status of ministry. We talked about how many wonderful and inspired songs as well as teachings and messages have come out over the past few years; but, at the same time, we see a trend developing that is disturbing to say the least. The modern church is increasingly being attracted by and drawn to what I will call "the show".
What do you think of when you hear the word "show"? My wife and I automatically think about a show that we like to watch on TV. We enjoy watching TV shows because they are entertaining and they provide us with a moment of leisure and relaxation from the work and demands of life. A show is something that is produced with the idea of entertaining an audience and holding its attention. As entertainment has evolved over the decades, it has increasingly used special effects, sounds, and images to draw the audience in even more. This is all great when it comes to a movie or a TV show, but does this same principle and technique apply when it comes to the gathering of the Body of Christ?
The reality is that many modern worship services focus on and rely on the sound, the visuals, and the extravagant lighting in an effort to give the audience a “worship experience”. The thought is that if the experience is louder, flashier, more extravagant, and choreographed, then more people will come. The people who are leading the worship and the people who are preaching the word turn into "stars" rather than being viewed as servants.
The gathering of the Body of Christ is not meant to be a show or a performance. It is meant to be centered around the fellowship of the brethren, worshiping the Lord, and seeking His truth. The people are to use the gifts that they have been blessed with to serve one another and bless each other. The purpose of church is not for us to have a "worship experience" because worship is not about us.
With all of that said, there is nothing wrong with seeking to do our best and giving the best of our abilities. There is nothing wrong with worshiping loud and using the resources that God has given us, but we should never allow those things to become the focus or take precedence over Him. If we do, they are no longer enhancing our worship; they are hindering it.