Lights and Fanfare
Almost our entire staff went recently to a conference called Catalyst in Dallas. The conference was very well done, and was highly “produced.” They paid attention to every detail, including a ton of audio/visual stuff. As I worshiped there at catalyst (I have to admit, often times I was observing more than worshiping—so is the curse of a worship leader) I began to think about the tension the Church has with generating creative and well thought-out worship services and yet keeping them from losing their main focus—which should be on…wait for it…Jesus. Yes, Jesus. I was wondering what He would think about all of the lights and fanfare we like to pair with very emotionally charged songs that end with lines that we sing over and over emphatically (did I just “Jesus Juke“?). I mean, I’m not pointing fingers. I lead songs like this too. However, I do think we must be careful when we use our creativity and technology to build “camp atmospheres” that produce sometimes-synthetic feelings in people.
I guess what I am mostly thinking about is how we can really see the Spirit working in us without wondering if we had something to do with it or not. This is especially relevant this week as we celebrate the day of Pentecost as found in Acts 2. I want to be a part of a congregation that is distinctly marked by the work of the Spirit as the early church was.
So, get rid of all of the STUFF, right? Um, maybe not. I like singing in a dimly lit room with a nice sound system just as much as the next guy. And, I’m not so sure that God is upset with us for using the technology that he’s blessed us with. I just think it is worth thinking about going forward. How can we make sure we are keeping Christ on the forefront of our hearts?