Worship- the concert experience

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Recently somebody made a comment after worship that they felt like they were at a concert. Immediately my soul was crushed and I began to panic as I tried to reflect and figure out what I did wrong to make someone feel like they were at a concert and not at worship. I don’t remember jumping off of my guitar amp and dancing around as the spotlights follow me around the stage. I don’t even remember the lights doing anything to stick out and draw attention to themselves. I don’t remember talking about myself….. but I do remember talking about Jesus and what He has done for us through His crucifixion. So what made it feel like a concert? Is that a bad thing? I believe the answer is Yes AND No. Please read the entire blog before passing judgement on me 🙂 .

The person in this particular instance was excited when they made this comment. They were on fire from worship. They didn’t want it to end! I don’t think that’s bad. They were relating the excellence of our entire worship service to that of a professional concert. Make no mistake about it, our focus is on Jesus. The world sees church worship as boring, awkward, fake, etc, etc. They picture us sitting around holding hands and singing “Kumbaya” with smiles on our faces as we sway back and forth together worshiping an entity that they believe is not involved in our world or doesn’t exist at all. It doesn’t have to be that way. When someone goes to a secular concert of any music genre, they expect excellence since they probably paid money for their ticket. When they leave a concert they want to be able to tell their friends, ” Yeah, ####### put’s on a really good show! I would definitely go back to see them!” or “I had such a great time at the concert last night!” When a person leaves a concert they almost feel a certain connection with the performers having seen them live and spent a few hours in their presence. You share an energy with the performers that you don’t get when you listen to a CD or Mp3. What can we do to make people feel an even greater sense connection with Jesus when they leave worship? Maybe some already do. Maybe some don’t. How do we make worship as excellent as a concert but still maintain the reverence for God that He is due?

This is not always easy to achieve. It begins with YOUR heart. The purpose of a concert is to entertain. You go expecting to GET something in return for purchasing a ticket. The purpose of worship is to GIVE. We GIVE our attention to Jesus and we edify (build up) our fellow believers. That doesn’t mean that worship should be mediocre because we didn’t charge a fee at the door or because our musicians on the worship team don’t make millions of dollars! In fact, the opposite is true. Worship should be excellent because Jesus is worthy of our best efforts! Worship should be better than any concert you can go attend. Millions of fans scream their heads off when their favorite performer takes the stage. They jump up and down and their heart rate goes up and they sing so loud that they can’t talk for the next 3 days. Some of us prefer Metallica and others prefer the Gaither’s. Our reactions to what we love are the same even if they are expressed differently.

When have we EVER been THAT excited about Jesus?

Jesus is the real “Rock Star.”

It’s OK to get excited about your favorite performers and it’s OK to attend concerts. It’s NOT OK when we elevate those people above Jesus. A “Rock Star” performer is on stage saying, “Look at me!” In worship, we should be saying, “Look at Jesus.”

I’m still very cautious when designing a worship experience that keeps Jesus in the center of all things. I don’t want to draw any attention to myself. That’s not my job as a lead worshiper. My job is to point people to Jesus but if we can make worship a place that highlights Jesus as the “Rock Star” of our lives and we can do that in a tasteful and excellent way…..I’m OK with it feeling like a concert if people associate concerts with excellence.

Consider what you are GIVING this week as you worship.

As always, I would love to hear what YOU think about worship feeling like a concert. It’s a touchy subject and there is a line that is easily and probably often crossed in some churches when they take the “concert” experience too far. What do you think?

For Him,

Brian

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One thought on “Worship- the concert experience

  1. Excellent! You really hit the nail on the head. I enjoy great worship which for me may also include excellent music. I’ve experienced those worship times when the music was awesome which allowed me to focus on worshipping my savior. When the music is poorly done, it becomes a distraction which then detracts from the focus of our worship. Dennis

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