17 Feb Purposeful Presentation
The fog machine is going. The lights are dim. The countdown video is rolling… 3… 2… 1… “Cue the lights!”. The band comes in strong! Booming through the house is a “Good morning church!”.
We would all be lying to ourselves if we said presentation in the church is not important. It is not the most important aspect of Sunday morning services. Nonetheless, it is important.
The argument isn’t whether lights and fog machines should or should not be used in a service. If all these elements create a more enjoyable environment for church attenders then I say, “Use ‘em”! We want people in our churches, but we don’t want them there merely for a show.
So where does the balance lie? In the words of my past instructor from Christ for the Nations Institute:
“We must learn to be relevant to the culture without being irrelevant to the Kingdom.”
Creative elements should never override the simplicity of the gospel. If we are making advancements in the number of people in our church pews but not in the number of disciples in our small groups, then church is the only thing we are advancing.
When presentation is man focused and not God focused, I have found that there are three monsters that build up pride and tear down humility.
When it comes to presentation it is almost second nature to look to man for approval. But Israel Houghton said it best:
“Live and lead from acceptance, not for acceptance. It is not something you are striving for, it is something you are leading from.”
When God’s words about us become overshadowed by man’s words, we settle for man’s confirmation instead of God’s truth. In return, we begin to lead for acceptance.
So what happens when you overhear people say, “Did you hear that new girl sing? Who is she? She is the best I have heard here!” Comparison happens.
Comparison kills callings. It will keep you feeding the desire to be like the person you want to be while you are starving the person God has designed you to be.
In the race to be the best, competition always wins. When you create competition within your worship team the only person you end up beating is yourself. Christine Caine says, “To build a strong team you must see someone else’s strength as a complement to your weakness not a threat to your position or authority.”
So keep the lights, fog, and videos rolling. In everything, let us present our best to God. When we present for and to God, He will always confirm our calling. He will never compare us, and we will never have to compete. In the end, God will get what he always deserves. The Glory.