The Work and the Worship (Perspective)

A friend of mine sent me a link to his worship leader’s blog site, and he had a short (but thought-provoking) entry pertaining to the effect the economic downturn will most likely have on our churches.  Here is the entry in its entirety:

I recently heard someone say in the context of how churches will behave economically in the downturn…

The last thing to go in the American Church will be lights and sound. The first thing will be their mission budgets.

Who knows, maybe the Church of Christ has it right in that regard. What would acapella worship with a thriving missions budget look like in Kingdom terms? A lot better than a big worship budget but no missions budget. But that wouldn’t be that different then when times are prosperous now would it?

That got me to thinking and I posted a reply.  Since I haven’t had time to do much on my own site lately, I thought I would go ahead and copy my reply here:

In the secular world, sports take precedence over education. We see high schools and universities pouring money into sports programs, and when budgets need to be adjusted it’s almost always in the area of education, not in the arena of their favorite “pass-time”. Unfortunately, I think in many ways our church has absorbed our culture, and sadly I think the statement is probably correct. It is the missions budgets that will go first, and for exactly the same reason as it does in our secular institutions. Because where we put our priorities all too often is not in educating the ignorant (whether that be a secular education or taking the gospel message of our Lord Jesus Christ), but in vain-glory of our own selves. Even secular education, when it succeeds, should help a person to appreciate more of the world and culture they live in, pushing their focus out beyond their own selves to see a bigger picture. How much more important is it for the Church to do this for the body of believers–by reaching out to the *un*believers in need of a Savior? This is the education the world needs to turn away from their own selfish and sinful nature and to see their need for a Savior. But alas, I fear that when it comes down to it, as the person above said the economic downturn will probably just mean less incentive to our “teachers” while the crowds still gather in the stadiums to be entertained. I pray it won’t be so.

Peace & Blessings,
Simple Mann

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1 Comment

Filed under Church, Culture, Gospel

One response to “The Work and the Worship (Perspective)

  1. An update to this post – someone else responded to this on the worship trench blog site and wrote:

    I think this is where you begin to see a problem with churches that create the expectation of a concert-like experience every Sunday. Thy are now “trapped” by those expectations. If they fail to deliver the excellent, ever-changing “product”, people will stop going to their church and there won’t be anybody financially contributing to the church… and the missions budget will vanish anyway. So it’s really not that simple of an issue, as Sunday morning contributions are the source of a church’s missions budget!

    My response to that is:
    Doesn’t that pretty much underscore that many churches today have misplaced their priorities? There are many churches that have built impressive congregations by appealing to people’s inherently selfish nature. And even though money is coming in to fund the Great Commission, the appeal to the heart of the worshiper is often what they are getting personally out of the “church experience”. The worship service “rocks” and the kids love it, but if the majority of the church will up and leave if the music stops, then you really have to question the foundation it is built on.

    Jesus issues a warning in the gospel of Luke:
    “Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.
    “But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.” (Luke 6:47-49)

    And if indeed the music stops and the people leave, how much different is the church from the world then? Is it really holy and set apart? Or has it become too much like the world? We see the same thing happen to high schools and colleges who have sports teams that no longer win championships. The fan base begins to withdraw, the money stops coming in, the head coach gets fired, and funding for the more important endeavors dries up. Fair-weather fans may be acceptable for football, but it should not be this way in the body of Christ!

    Excuse my ranting, but I really do think that too many churches have compromised their purpose by trying to increase their appeal. When the primary thing becomes secondary and secondary things become primary, church is no longer about Christ but about man… and when that happens it has no power.

    Peace & Blessings,
    Simple Mann

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