Pastors ask this question regularly – and we should. But too often, I think we miss the mark entirely.
For instance, not long ago I was part of a discussion with a group of ministers sharing new ideas. I enjoy the innovative, forward focus of such talks.
Then something odd occurred to me. If you took the religious language out of our conversation, I wondered if you’d be able to tell whether we were a group of ministers talking about church, or a local theater group talking about the upcoming show season.
Much of our discussion focused on issues like stage lighting, how much video or drama to use, the quality and volume of the music, advertising, signage, seating, transitions between segments of the service, etc.
The other voices faded into the background for me, as I realized something about myself.
I’ve spent decades tweaking lights, buying audio equipment, setting up chairs and all the other work it takes to put on church services. But, as much as I love the body of Christ…
You’ll Know Them By Their Video Clips
Does anyone think the reason our neighbors aren’t going to church is poor stage lighting and sloppy transitions? Or are they looking for something else entirely?
It’s not that the staging elements of church don’t matter. We still talk about them at our church staff meetings, too. If they’re done poorly, they can distract from the message. We just need to be sure they don’t replace the message.
But let’s face the truth. It doesn’t matter how big our churches are, how much money we have, or how many A-List producers become believers. If we compete head-to-head with Hollywood on entertainment quality, the results are already in.
The church loses. Continue reading