That’s Entertainment!

Posted: January 30, 2009 in Church, Crosspoint, Perspective

My doctor is awesome.  He’s both a good doctor and a man of God who, in many ways, ministers to his patients as much as he treats them for their illnesses.

Why bring this up?   Well, yesterday, at one of my frequent doctor visits (lately), he and I were talking a bit about church.  We talked briefly about Crosspoint.  Not a lot, mind you, just a minute or two.  But the last part of our conversation has been knocking at my brain ever since I left his office.

He commented:  “Too many churches try to entertain people.”  Then he said, “If you leave church every Sunday thinking, ‘That was fun,’ something’s probably wrong.”

I’ve been digesting his comment and my responses to them a lot.  My short answers to him were (1) We do not entertain without purpose, and we (2) don’t leave every service just jumping up and down screaming that was FUN!!! (though we do that a lot!).

Here’s the longer answers.  YES, we do entertain people.  I believe it is a sin that we’ve taken the most amazing message in the world – the Gospel of Jesus Christ – and made it boring as heck.  Too many churches and Christians (myself included at many points in my life) have reduced Jesus to a wimp in a Miss America sash and made church feel more like a funeral home (or a museum to times of Christianity ‘past’) than a dynamic, life-changing gathering of the body of Christ where God’s Spirit moves and changes us forever.

The “entertainment” aspect of what we do is not simply to entertain.  That is empty.  And this is something I think about every week as Crosspoint’s Creative Arts Pastor.  Not just “what” elements to put in the program, but “why” and “how” are those elements going to grab people’s attention so their minds can be focused and their hearts aroused to hear the word of God.  It’s entertainment with intentionality.  Jesus never performed a miracle (so entertaining they drew HUGE crowds) without turning it into a moment for teaching people.

As for being “fun,” hmmm…  Shouldn’t new life in Christ be “fun,” if by that word we mean full of the Spirit and full of the joy that can ONLY be found in Jesus Christ?

That said, there have been many Sunday mornings where I – and many others – have not walked out of church yelling, “That was fun!”  Instead, they are walking out reflective – maybe even broken – about the sins in their lives and their need to turn away from them and engage in a relationship with Christ.  They aren’t laughing and jumping for joy because they have been convicted by God to change their lives – to let HIM begin a work in their lives.

To be fair, I think my doctor understands and would agree with these things, and I respect him deeply as a physician and as a Christ-follower.  But the conversation re-affirmed for me why we do what we do at Crosspoint.  We are caretakers – messengers – diplomats – vessels – the lucky-shlumps-who-have-the-opportunity-to-share-the-love-of-God-with-someone-else – We are the people willing to take up the cause of connecting people with Christ.  And we will do whatever it takes short of sin to make that happen.  Period.

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Comments
  1. Wendie koshowsky says:

    WOW, exactly. ~ from the first day I visited Crosspoint until now I have left church with every feeling imaginable. On some sundays I leave laughing, on some sundays I leave literally broken with a lump in my throat, on some sundays I leave wrapped in a cloak of worship, and on some sundays I leave in awe. I know in my heart of hearts God in his heaven smiles when Crosspoint begins. With out a doubt, God led me to Crosspoint. I come to both services so that I have more time to absorb that amazing God worshipping thing that happens each week and leave with a feeling of melancholy and wonder because I know it will be seven full days before I come back. Crosspoint has been the catalysts for a deeper, stronger and more singlemindedness desire for me to spread the good news! I know that back 2000 plus years ago there was EXCITEMENT when people talked about and worshipped Jesus! I feel like Crosspoint is a great model for what Gods church should be…..close and, thank MY LORD, my church is “fun”.

  2. ez37 says:

    great post… we use what the world would call “entertainment” to reach a world that would not listen to hymns in evereyday life, only we call it “WORSHIP”, and in it we see people with changed hearts & lives. God uses all kinds of churches, and even the “old school” churches don’t preach like the Puritans, so it’s not “us and them”, but only us. Can you imagine a Puritan whalin’ away on a Fender Strat? How about Lincoln Brewster on an air organ that has 200 pipes?… Hey, there might be a song in the Puritan on the strat thing….

  3. God is bigger than tradition, than a church and a steeple and pomp and circumstance. God is relevant to today and disconnecting God from today, can in someway diminish God in the eyes of people (nothing can actually diminish God). What I have enjoyed about Crosspoint is that it changes the lesson plans without changing the lessons. And I fundamentally believe that it should be a pleasure to go to church, not a chore. Love can be work but it shouldn’t feel like a hassle.
    You all are doing a wonderful job. I’ve told my friends and family, what I find so appealing is that the people at Crosspoint aren’t there because it’s Sunday, but rather they are there because that’s when the congregation gets together to celebrate God en masse so they want to be there and that feeling of love is palapable.

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