Worship Or Entertainment?

This past week, our worship resident, Brielle, wrote a very insightful article on our Element Music Facebook page.  She posed a great question about worship and entertainment.  Where is the line?  Is there a line?  How do we know when we’ve crossed it.

Brielle does an incredible job describing the process and thinking we have here at Element Church when it comes to “how” we do worship.  But she also gives some amazing insight from Scripture on why this is important.  Check out her thoughts:

“Why do you have to do something fancy and put on a show every Sunday?” “Why isn’t just singing songs good enough for you?” “Isn’t God present even in the most desolate of places?”
These are all questions I’ve been asked and have asked myself while being apart of Element Church and the worship team. Why do we do what we do? I’ll tell you one reason why: It’s called the “Funnel Effect.”
The Funnel Effect is a system Element Church has set in place to ensure that first time guests walk away wanting to come back to church. It starts all the way in the parking lot. 
First time guests drive though the parking lot unsure if this is a good idea and find themselves in an upfront parking spot saved specifically for them, a first time guest. They get out of the car, are welcomed by the parking team, and make their way to the front doors. Here they are again welcomed by our greeter team. Once in the building, they make their way to the lobby to get some fresh coffee and notice something different. They can hear secular music being played in background. What? In a church? 
After grabbing their coffee made by our hospitality volunteers they make their way to the auditorium and are given a seat by the usher team. The upbeat countdown for church begins. It seems almost like a countdown to a concert. The band starts to play, and it is not what they expected. In fact, the band sounds more like the band they heard at the bar the night before than music that they heard in church growing up. They start to think “Hey this isn’t that bad.” 
As they are standing around listening to the music. They start to recognize the words are talking about a man named Jesus. This is followed by an offering teaching, more worship and then the message. Boom! Man that guy can preach. They can’t wait to come back.
 
That is the funnel effect. And I think it is brilliant strategy that makes perfect sense for reaching people for Christ. It draws unbelievers to church, a place they never thought they would find themselves, and makes them want to come back. But is this a good enough reason to put on a magnificent production show, stage designs, and dynamic music every weekend? 
I know that the bible tells us to do our best in everything we do. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do; work at it with all your heart as if working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
I also know that the bible tells us to do our best for God. Romans 12:11 says “Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically.”
Knowing this, a couple weeks ago during my devotion time I came across some important words I hadn’t noticed before. Psalm 66:1-2 says, “Shout for joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of His name; make His praise glorious!”
Make His praise glorious!
We serve a glorious, magnificent, and holy God, but the psalmist notes something very important here. God is so glorious, that His praise itself deserves to be glorious. 
At Element Church, we put so much effort into our Sunday morning services, not to impress people, but because the Bible calls us to give God glorious praise! 
He deserves it. So why are we withholding it?
Jeff Maness
I am a follower of Jesus first, husband to a beautiful wife, father to four amazing children, lead pastor of Element Church in Cheyenne, WY, and blogger of all things life.

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