Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Danger of Building a Church on Spectacle

I’ve witnessed some spectacular church productions. I’ll never forget the Easter play I watched when I was a child. Jesus just ascended right into the church rafters. I remember wondering how he would get down, but Acts 1 is clear: “This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going . . .” Sure enough, he rappelled right back down after the performance. The real second coming won’t be nearly as anti-climactic.

When a big event is done well, a church can draw a lot of people, which means more have the opportunity to hear the gospel. Using spectacle for gospel opportunities is good. If a church has enough gifted people to pull off such a show, go for it. Spectacle is simply a striking performance with a large visual impact. God can use these efforts just like anything else.

The danger lies not in building a church with spectacle but rather in building a church on spectacle. I’m not just parsing prepositions; there is a difference. A church built on spectacle makes the show the foundation. The big and loud can get attention, but when spectacle becomes the main means for growth, the main ministry strategy, or the main way in which church resources and energy are spent, it becomes dangerous. Here’s why. Read More

No comments: