I don't go to church to be entertained.
I also don't go to church to be bored.
- I go to worship.
- I go to read and hear from God's word.
- I go to be taught.
- I go to be challenged.
- I go to be discipled.
- I go to fellowship with other believers.
- I go to be inspired into action.
When we reduce the gathering of God's people to an entertainment venue, we don’t enhance it, we diminish it.
Diminish. That's such a benign word for the damage we do to the gospel when use it as a tool to put on a better show.
The only thing worse? Boring people with the gospel.
We’ve been entrusted with the message that God came to live on our planet, lived a sinless life, taught the greatest truths ever heard, died for our sins, rose from the dead, and is coming back for us. You have to work hard to make that story boring. Yet we do.
This Is Not About Church Size, Pace or Liturgy
This mini-rant of mine has nothing to do with church size, liturgy, the pace of service, or any of the other facets of our church services that pastors spend so much time and energy on.
I’ve been in boring churches of all sizes. And I've also experienced the shiny veneer of a faux gospel in churches large and small. The same goes for churches with high and low liturgies, as well as services with a slow and intimate pace, to ones that are nearly frenzied with energy.
Thankfully, I’ve also been in life-transforming services in churches of all sizes, traditions, liturgies and energy levels.
None of that matters.
But doctrine does matter. A lot. We can’t proclaim the truth of a gospel that we’ve wandered away from. Or stripped truths from. Or hidden beneath layers of prejudice, tradition or entertainment.
Yes, the gospel should be attractional. As long as we’re attracting people with the gospel, not with the baggage we’ve added to it. The old adage is true: what we win them with is what we win them to.
Truth Is Better than Entertainment
Entertainment is cheap. And easy. The laptop I'm writing with can access more entertainment than we could have ever imagined. Or than any church can ever compete with. As I wrote in a recent post, “If we compete head-to-head with Hollywood on entertainment quality, Hollywood wins, the church loses.”
Jesus never bored people with the gospel. And a lot of his parables were very entertaining.
But entertainment was never the point. Truth was the point. And great truths are never boring.