Modern churches are more and more built or employed like theaters, places of entertainment. The congregation doesn’t enter into the service and participate so much as sit outside the experience as spectators. The clergy and other leaders have gotten impatient with a liturgy that requires movement and participation: they prefer an audience. And so the songs become less singable, the sermons more performative, and the rest drowned in the blather of announcements and chit-chat. In order to jazz up all this dull stuff, the preacher-performers turn to electronic jiggery-pokery, especially video. These would-be rock stars would add lasers and smoke effects if they could figure out how.
But spectacle is not the point. Meeting God is the point — in his house, together with others who are also part of our company, living and dead. You shouldn’t have to struggle with the worship service to keep your mind on that. Everything you do, everything that is said, the very walls and furnishings, should facilitate that. Nor does every symbol and action require explanation, as if they had no meaning but what the commentator pours into them. We need to talk less, and let God speak more.
Amen, brother. The church we attend is moving in the right direction. Others in our past are not.