Thursday, April 14, 2011

Worship Entertainment

Admittedly, I am a church critic.  I know its wrong, and I am working on it.  My area of biggest criticism is worship.  I love to worship God. But, I'm not really sure of how I'm getting there.

It seems that many contemporary churches are beginning to blur the lines between worship and entertainment. For our purposes, we will define worship as the act of leading people into there individual experience with God. Let us define entertainment as a performance to be enjoyed and participated in by an audience.  

We see that worship is God based.  Entertainment is human based.

I remember a time when churches didn't have a worship "team", but a song leader.  The song leader was someone in the church (who desired to serve the church), who picked out the songs to be sung, and actually lead the congregation in singing.   Sometimes, the song leader was good, more often than not, just capable.  But, it didn't really matter.  Nobody was at church expecting a performance from the song leader, nobody expected to be entertained. We went to church and sang the songs that we were lead in, for no other reason than praise and worship.  That's the worship that I remember.

The picture we have now is much different.  We have a team of people, the team is chosen based on their musical talents.  We go to church expecting some great music, when our expectations are not met, we are disappointed.  The worship leader/team (in conjunction with the lights, effects, and monitor ear pieces) behave on stage (formerly known as a platform), not as if they were leading a congregation into the presence of God, but as if we are all there to watch them sing.  

The greatest worship experiences I have faced have been those times without the stage/platform, no special equipment, just a dude with a guitar.  

I don't get up for church on a Sunday morning, to be sang to, or watch a stage show.  I don't go to church to see people that couldn't make it big as a musician, so they take their weekly 15 minutes of fame on the church stage/platform.  I get up for church on Sunday morning, to come face to face with God, a culmination daily spending time in His presence.

I am not opposed to either form of worship. I'm just a church critic, wondering where the line between entertainment and worship is at.  

It would serve every parishoner well, to remember that worship is about God.  Worship starts in the Heavens, and spreads to us, worship is our opportunity to join with the heavens and earth in praise and adoration to our Creator.

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