As you walk in, you begin looking for the perfect seat. As usual, you’re not quite sure what to expect during the next two hours. Will you laugh? Will you cry? Will your emotions be stirred? Are you going to walk away excited? You don’t know. Everyone begins to quiet down as the show starts and you begin to get excited. You are here to be entertained.
As you read the last paragraph, perhaps you imagined yourself sitting in the middle of a crowded movie theatre. Or perhaps you were waiting for the start of a new play or an exciting concert. Unfortunately, this is actually a description of many Christians as they walk into worship each Sunday morning. They come for one reason and one reason alone: to be entertained! We live in a world that constantly searches for entertainment. We go to the movies, watch television or attend concerts because we like to be entertained. And sadly, this way of thinking is creeping into our worship of God as well.
Worship, though it can be encouraging for Christians, is not for us! It is for GOD! Yet there are many churches who are constantly searching for ways to make the worship more appealing to the world. It’s as if we think the only way we can convert the lost and keep them is to find ways of entertaining them. Have we forgotten about the power of God’s Word? Or are we beginning to step away from God’s Word because we’re afraid that our worship will become “boring”?
In the book of Malachi, the Israelites were being rebuked for doing the same thing. Malachi 1:13 states that the Israelites began to find God’s way of doing things “tiresome” or “boring”. They no longer cared about what God wanted but only focused on their own well being. I’m afraid that many who call themselves Christians have started down this same path.
This is not to say that we can’t be excited about worshipping God. It’s not even to say that it’s wrong to walk away from worship feeling encouraged or uplifted. But when our purpose for worshipping God becomes mere entertainment for the “audience”, we have a problem. When we attend worship just so we can get something out of it, we are no longer worshipping God in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Therefore, the next time you come before the Lord to worship Him, make sure you’re doing it for the sole purpose of lifting Him up, not merely for your entertainment.