God is the Audience

by Frank Jones


Entertainment is not the purpose for going to church. Indulging ourselves in aesthetic pleasure is not the same as worshiping. Churches dare not choreograph their worship services to add entertainment value, even to attract nonbelievers. ... To do so in worship ... risks undercutting the Christian message. Ours is a culture wholly centered upon the self. The church must counter this egotism, not give in to it. The Bible calls us to repentance, faith, service, and self-denial - qualities utterly opposed to the entertainment mentality. In Christian worship, the congregation is not the audience; God is the audience.
— Gene Veith, quoted in Philip Ryken, "City on a Hill", 64.