A month ago I involved myself in a discussion with a Facebook friend who had lamented about how so many worship teams that he was watching on Youtube were merely into entertainment: which I pushed back fairly hard on as all the worship teams I know are some of the most hardworking and committed teams in the church. They practice once a week, they turn up hours before everyone else on a Sunday, and often are some of the last to leave. I also pushed back on the idea of do we really know what is in a person’s heart…..But this blog is not entirely about that. It’s about the idea of entertainment.
When I was Pastoring Nowra City Church, this was the number one criticism that people outside of the church used to level at us: that we were “The Entertainment Church”.
I used to ask them…and why is that bad?
May I suggest we have demonised entertainment in order to appear more spiritual.
And before you fire up your fingers to dance magically (oh don’t mention magic) across the keyboard and tell me all the theological reasons why I am wrong…..I get that in church and in worship and in our life, we are here to bring Glory to God. I so get that.
But what if God is into entertainment?
Entertainment is defined as providing enjoyment.
1 Timothy 6:17 tells us that we are to trust in God who “richly provides us with all things to enjoy”
So what if God made us to be entertainable and then made this outrageously entertaining world.
A couple of examples of what I mean:
I arrived home the other afternoon to a mob of Kangaroos feeding on my Gold Coast lawn, one had a little joey. I stood there as the sun set, watching the interaction of the roos and I was thoroughly entertained.
Melanie and I went out for dinner recently and we ordered a lamb shoulder to share….the meat was insanely tasteful as it melted in our mouths…..My taste buds went into overdrive with entertainment.
My daughters entertain me. Sometimes by what they do, sometimes by who they are and at all times just because they are in my world.
I get entertained by the diversity of cultures around the world.
Melanie was looking through Pinterest recently and we were both amazed at the variety and striking beauty of birds. Why did God make the birds like this? Why did God allow us to see color? Was it that we would be entertained?
I was listening to the radio the other day and was thinking about how amazing music is and the fact that we can hear. What if we couldn’t hear? What if we were created totally tone deaf (the Chinese would be sunk).
How entertaining are Pets?
Or what about the fact that we as humans can laugh and find things funny. I am pretty sure that the American Bison doesn’t have a sense of humor. So why did God give us this ability to laugh and find humour in things.
Why did God make sex enjoyable? Humans are one of very few species who have sex for pleasure. God made us like that.
Or here is a question for you to ponder: Why did God make us entertainable and provided us with an lavishly entertaining world….if he didn’t want us to entertained?
I remember reading a survey in the Sydney Morning Herald in July 2002 that said 42% of Aussies don’t attend church because its boring. So, and hear my heart in this….maybe if some churches became more entertaining……
Ok here are a few disclaimers.
I know I will be blasted in the comments section of this blog for being carnal, fleshly etc etc but no one I suspect will actually tell me why did God make us such an entertaining world and then have some church’s specialise in boring.
Let me also say…boring does not equal spirituality any more that being entertaining equals flesh.
And if you disagree with me, that’s ok:…. when you are in church this Sunday being comforted as you are bored. As for me, when I walk into the church I currently attend, I will be entertained by the lights, the atmosphere, the great music and the singing and then I will enter into worship in spirit and in truth. Be entertained in church is not a barrier to me truly woshipping God. In fact may I suggest as it engages my senses, its a more holistic holy experience.
The point of this blog is….it doesn’t have to be an either or.
Anyway that’s what I think.
Ps Peter Pilt
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Categories: Church related