There’s much talk these days of churches boasting engaging, moving, powerful “worship experiences.”
In other words, if you come to our church or our service, we’ll give you an experience that’s worth your time and will leave you wanting more. Enter lasers, lights, fog (aka Holy Ghost smoke), and anything that doesn’t sound like what your grandparents would sing.
Much time and planning–and often money–goes into creating or engineering the best possible experience. I’ve been in those meetings.
So what? Is it wrong? No. But does this approach merely cater to our already rampant “wow me” culture?
What happens when the one experiencing isn’t impressed any longer or it becomes old hat?
The following words from pastor Matt Chandler are fitting:
“Worship gatherings are not always spectacular, but they are always supernatural. And if a church looks for or works for the spectacular, she may miss the supernatural. If a person enters a gathering to be wowed with something impressive, with a style that fits him just right, with an order of service and song selection designed just the right way, that person may miss the supernatural presence of God. Worship is supernatural whenever people come hungry to respond, react, and receive from God for who He is and what He has done. A church worshipping as a Creature of the Word doesn’t show up to perform or be entertained; she comes desperate and needy, thirsty for grace, receiving from the Lord and the body of Christ, and then gratefully receiving what she needs as she offers her praise-the only proper response to the God who saves us.”
― Matt Chandler, Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church
May we revel in the supernatural and not mistake it for the spectacular.