Lights… Camera… Action! The show has begun and the audience expects a good performance. You cannot afford to fail with all these people coming to watch you entertain them. After all, they didn’t have to watch you right? Make sure everyone has on their costumes and that replacements are in place. We must please the people that have come to the “show”!
Many will read that and think I am referring to a movie or a play, but I am actually referring to the Modern Church. It seems at times that the place where God once inhabited is now a circus or an amusement park. Remember that place where we actually went and out of respect kept quiet in church and listened to the pastor? Yeah, I am not sure what happened but it’s now the place where people use their phones during service. Are the people coming to worship God or to be restored? Not all the time, it’s more of a social thing. “I had to get out the house, it was too much arguing.” Or when you knew the people would treat you with love, but you sometimes go and feel rejected and isolated?
Let’s not forget the competition that takes place within ministry! “I sing better than you!”, “I preach better than you!”, “You’re not even saved, I pray and you never do!”, “He/she doesn’t deserve to be our leader, I work harder than them. This church is bias!” Or the people that only show up when there’s a big turn out? Not too interested in prayer services, bible study, or even practice. They just enjoy the spotlight given on Sunday. Sad to say, but most times it’s because they want to see who’s coming, who’s wearing what, and if the preacher can make me feel good. You know, when I can attend service enough to make it into Heaven, but not too much where I feel conviction and might have to actually change my lifestyle?
Am I targeting anyone or any church? Of course not! I need grace just like everyone else, I am just pointing to the bigger picture! If we are not careful, we can so easily lose sight of Jesus. We can attend church faithfully, and not actually be a follower of Jesus. You and I must wake up everyday asking ourselves, “what can I change to please God more?” You see, it’s easy to turn God’s house into an entertainment center. We do not preach about repentance because it might scare our visitors away. We do not talk about principles God has set because it may cause us to lose members, things such as tithing, holiness, forgiveness, or even Hell. We tend to point just towards grace so much that we give people a false perception of God. God has many attributes, and to make people think He does not get angry or sad by our decisions is total deception.
I honestly believe that every believer will serve Jesus differently. That is simply because He made us differently, that is why I do not believe in comparing anyone or any church. Some people jump and some people stay still. Some people are quiet and some are loud. Even though I believe we should be free and give God everything, I will not say your heart is not pure if you aren’t jumping like me. I just know sometimes it’s necessary to shout with the voice of triumph (Psalm 47:1) or dance and spin (Psalm 118:24); the word rejoice here in Hebrew means to spin in a violent, radical manner. Off topic, but don’t be afraid to worship, who cares what people think?
My point to you is this, God does not want us to dilute His Word to get more people in church. Jesus told people some hard things and at one point it caused many to walk away from Him (John 6:66). He simply separated the fans from the followers! The Gospel and everything God requires will offend people. When you hear it, you will either walk away or follow Jesus, but that is the point. Do not change it to please people. Hurt someone with the truth before you comfort them with a lie (PLEASE, do it in love). So whether you are a minister, pastor, musician, or just someone that goes to church, let it be genuine. God knows our heart and it makes no sense that we try to fool Him. Be open with God and repent if you have to. But we must go back to the heart and true meaning of worship. When it is all about Jesus. I understand we cannot make every service sometimes, we are human; and church attendance does not make us saved, but do not think church is the place to go when you “feel like it”. It’s where we go to worship with the body of Christ, and to be a blessing, not just expect a blessing.
Get the actors off stage, and let church begin. – Kirk Franklin
Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord. (Lamentations 3:40)