Family Reunion or Staged Production?

What do you think – what should a Sunday morning worship service be like – should it be more like a family reunion or more like a staged production? What do I mean??

Well in a staged production, all the people involved in the program are to know their places. “Places everyone!” And they’re to know their parts well, come with lines well-rehearsed. For this, most if not all are paid for their part. When the clock counts down to showtime, it’s showtime. The lights dim, the first player takes the stage, the audience sits back… If all goes well, each plays his or her part without missing a beat, the sound, light, and camera crews all do their jobs flawlessly, and at the prescribed time the program ends and the audience goes home having been well-entertained. It’s all very professional.

A family reunion isn’t like that. At a family reunion, sure everyone’s supposed to show up at the park at a certain time and bring food, and some do. But uncle Billy’s always late, and usually comes empty-handed. But it’s ok – there’s always plenty for everyone, and we all love uncle Billy. Cousin Jack can’t make it to the reunion half the time ‘cause of work, but everyone’s glad when he does come. Grandpa’s supposed to lead in prayer before the meal, which is supposed to start at noon but he usually gets to talkin’ so we all have to remind him. And then when he prays he forgets half the names. But you know, we all love him just the same. After we’ve prayed and enjoyed a meal and played a few games and shared a few stories and met new members of the family since last time, well some leave right away, others hang around a while catching up on things. When it’s over, everyone’s been well-fed and well-loved and we look forward to the next time we’re together. It’s not a professional production. But if it came down to it, we’d lay down our lives for one another, because we’re family.

When we come together for Sunday morning service – what do you think? Should it be more like a staged production, or a loving family reunion?

So what brings this up? A good friend called me recently. He was struggling with the transition that his church is making from simple family gathering around the word of God to something resembling a professionally-staged production. Many churches have made a similar transition. To be honest, I prefer simplicity. What about you?

Acts 2:46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart…
2Cor. 1:12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom…

John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another.

With sincere love for you all, for the sake of the gospel,

Pastor John