Worship is not for our entertainment

Published 8:26 am Friday, July 7, 2017

Many churches and individuals believe that the main reason we attend worship is to “get something out of the service.” I have often heard people say they would not go to a certain church because they couldn’t get anything out of the service. While it is important to be edified and encouraged to do the work of a Christian, our main reason for gathering to worship is just that, “To Worship.” Individuals who attend worship services in order to be entertained are selfish and self-centered. This explains why people find it hard to be satisfied with worship services in congregations where God is the audience rather than man. When we consider worship as practiced and described in the New Testament, we learn that first century Christians were more concerned with what God wanted rather than what may have pleased them. It is sad but true. Many today are only concerned with what they want to offer God as worship rather than trying to discover what it is that God wants.
Our worship to God must be holy and sacred; God did not intend worship as a way to help us gain self pleasure. To change and corrupt purpose of worship with entertainment and what we can “get out of the service” in trying to please and gratify ourselves is nothing short of blasphemy! Hebrews 13:15 teaches us to, “Offer the sacrifice of praise to God, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” In biblical worship, Christians are the participants, not the observers. Paul asked, “Do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10). We must understand that scriptural worship is God-Centered worship.
Today, we live in a self centered world of entertainment. Regardless of where one may turn there is entertainment everywhere. All this entertainment is designed to please mankind. However, such should not be a part of our worship to God. Many churches have choirs, and concerts, plays and game nights and employ every possible gimmick in order to excite the mind and the emotions of mankind. Humanity has made itself the spectator rather than God. We need to realize that worship is not a spectator affair; when this occurs we have lost the true purpose and manner of worshipping God. The writer of Proverbs states, “The way of the fool is right in his own eyes” (Proverbs 12:15). The only way in which worship is a spectator event is when God is the spectator and we are as players on a stage performing as God has designed. Many people today are only interested in how that can be entertained once again, week after week.
A good friend once said, If we bring people to worship with the promise of a “hamburger,” we will have to give them one every week in order to get them back to the worship service. When we seek some emotional trigger to please people we will have to employ that trigger every week. There is a problem with this reasoning; when people seek an “emotional high” from worship and don’t get it, they are disappointed and start blaming the song service, the preacher, etc. If we on the other hand allow the word of God to work in the lives of men and allow it to convert them they will return for the value of the word of God and God Himself. We should remember that God taught that Jesus taught that we must worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
We should ask ourselves about the worship we involve ourselves. Is it according to truth and is it employed with the proper attitude/spirit and with the desired result of pleasing and honoring God? Churches that seek to honor God by worshipping as God desires and demands are pleasing to God. All others bring dishonor to themselves and to God.
(Tony Hoss is minister at Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton.)

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox