I am concerned over how worship has become a program, a show, and entertainment. Once again the problem is a self-centered and presentational approach to worship. . . . Presentational worship turns true worship on its head. If worship is truly doing God’s story and calling people to find their life and story by entering God’s story, then the style of worship is prayer. -Robert E. Webber,Ancient-Future Worship: Proclaiming and Enacting God’s Narrative (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2008), 25.
This is something I try to check with myself in my role at Emmanuel Community Church. It seems to me what Webber is talking about is not simply the use of technology, but of the attitude towards worship connected to presentation and therefore technology.
So how does this play itself out? This past weekend, we sang both a hymn and choruses. We read scripture. We had a time of prayer centered on our confession that too many times we seek our own kingdoms. We had a time of preaching and the giving of tithes and offerings. And all of this structured between a Call to Worship and a Benediction. However, we also had three large video screens w/ moving backgrounds for lyrics, videos and LED moving lights. Is that a good balance? Is it more entertainment than worship? I hope not, but I think it’s only by asking the question that we are able to live in a creative tension of using technology without reducing worship to a show.
Any comments? Thoughts?