Jump directly to the Content

Out of Context: John Ortberg on Amusing Worship

So many of our church gatherings are amusing, but are they arresting?

"To 'muse' means to reflect and ponder; put an 'a' in front of it and you have the absence of reflection. Amusement is a way of boredom-avoidance through external stimulation that fails to exercise our minds. It's mere diversion. It is a kind of performance-enhancing drug for an attention-deficit society. 'Amusement' is appealing because we don't have to think; it spares us the fear and anxiety that might otherwise prey on our thoughts.

"In the context of worship, amusement is a waste of time and a waste of life, and therefore a form of sin.

"To arrest someone's attention, on the other hand, is to cause them to sit up and take notice."

Excerpted from "What Does God Think of Entertainment?" in the Spring 2011 issue of Leadership Journal. To read the full quote IN context be sure to subscribe to Leadership today by clicking on the LJ cover in the left column.

John Ortberg is pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California.

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

September
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Is This All There Is?
Is This All There Is?
Dear Church, I need people who can show me the truth, not just tell me about it.
From the Magazine
Police Work Nearly Broke Me
Police Work Nearly Broke Me
I was a narcotics officer on the brink of suicide when God began his mighty healing work.
Editor's Pick
Pastors in Pain, Christ Can Redeem Your Suffering
Pastors in Pain, Christ Can Redeem Your Suffering
After many difficult years in ministry, I lost the strength to pastor. But Christ met me in weakness.
close