Sometimes I think I have the calling of being a “party pooper.” Not sure that is one of the five-fold gifts or not, but it seems like that is where God has placed me, nonetheless. I guess when you write a book called “The Church Must Die”, you are destined to step on a few toes.
The other night I went to a concert featuring a couple of well-known Christian music artists. The show was good, and we had a great time. I have to admit, the thought crossed my mind more than once, “what if we took all the money that we spent on this one night and used it to feed the poor, or dig wells to provide clean drinking water, or…?”
But the real problem I have – the problem I just can’t shake – is this: What difference did it make? Sure, several thousand people showed up, and we screamed when the artists told us the night was all about Jesus, and we raised our hands when they sang a “worshipful” song, but did it really change anything?
How many of those kids went home and unplugged their video games, turned off the TV, and committed themselves to prayer and Bible study? How many of us decided to quit spending so much of our time and money on meaningless fluff? How many of us committed to serving the poor and spreading the kingdom because of that concert?
It’s the same problem I have with our “worship services.” You know, the ones with the rocking band of good-looking people singing catchy pop songs. The ones where we all raise our hands and look heavenward and praise God. What really changes?
It’s like a team that has a great pep rally, then forgets to show up and play the game. What’s the point?
You see, that concert or worship service is not the end…it’s the beginning. That sermon you heard last Sunday is just the pre-game pep talk…not the game. Until we realize that, we will go on losing our generation to the world. Until we realize we have to DO the work of the kingdom and not just chant “Jesus cheers,” the church will continue its slide into irrelevance.
At some point we have to stop cheering and play the game.