Thursday, 11 November 2010

Performance and Worship

I'm fascinated between the relationship between performance and worship.

Years ago I used to work for a big evangelical church. I was also working as an entertainer in my spare time. The Sunday services were basically performances, everyone doing something up front had to be as professional as possible. The music was brilliantly played, the preacher was excellent at public speaking, the prayers were word perfect and it was all timed down to the last minute.

Strangely enough, as a performer this started to bother me. What happened on Sunday was just the same as what happened when I did a magic and juggling show at a party. It felt very inaccessible for the person in the pew. The average congregation member could not contribute because they hadn't prepared or were not qualified enough.

I have not resolved this and would be interested to see what others think. On the one hand there is the idea that we should produce the best we can in honour of God (I actually love a kicking band in church and it really helps me worship. But I get the same thing listening to some U2 tracks. Or even any great music). On the other hand church is a community where all should contribute and feel equally valuable.

What do others think?

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