I received a letter in the mail yesterday addressed to the church, from a “local” media installation company offering to install the “needed solutions” for our sound and video problems, that I found interesting.
My purpose for this quick little post isn’t to “pick on” the company, or to send them an “open letter” or to really be a rebuttal toward them in any way, but rather to point out something that was said in their brochure to which I believe reveals a problem with many of the company’s targeted customers – churches, and their worship services.
The brochure asked, and I quote, “Are you looking for new ways to enhance your fellowship’s spiritual experience? Maybe your church’s sound/video system needs an upgrade?”
So here’s my observation, and I hope you get the picture and the message:
Worship by its very nature is meant to be about what the worshiper offers to God, not what the church offers to the worshiper. But many churches, both past and present, have been and are currently in the business of selling worship experiences. They have taken something (i.e. worship) that is supposed to revolve around what gets brought and they have turned it on its head to make it about what gets received. And now they find themselves in a situation much akin to the restaurant and service business – competing with competitors on the basis of who can offer the best experience to the customers, the consumers and the curious.
Stop and think about it for a moment. Have you ever wondered how the church through the early centuries ever managed to worship God without all the lights, cameras and action? How boring it must have been! Why did people ever show up? I just don’t know!
But then again, maybe I do know. Maybe the church did just fine by being more concerned with giving to instead of taking from the worship services. And just maybe if churches were more concerned with that kind of worship experience today, our appetite for entertainment could be more easily contained.