Friday, April 17, 2009
consumers and producers
We live in a time and a culture that is best defined as consumption driven. We consume more resources than anyone else at any time else in history. We're even consuming resources at a speed with which nature can not keep up.
While this is an important issue, consumption of natural resources is not the point of this post. Worship is.
Do we have the mindset in our churches of consumers of worship or producers of worship? Consider this: Since the age of Constantine, we have had the church institution that is built exactly like a theatre. There seems to be an audience and some key performers (pastors/priests/worship leaders/etc) who are 'on stage.
This is a terrible concept of worship.
It breeds an understanding of worship that allows an audience to be largely 1)Non-participatory, 2)Critical, 3)Disconnected.
If I am in the "audience", my role is not significant. The people on stage represent me or are there on my behalf somehow. This destroys the notion of the priesthood of all believers. Somehow we must reorient our worship so that each of us has the view that we are on stage offering and performing our worship for a Most High Audience of One. We must move from Consumers of Worship to PRODUCERS OF WORSHIP.
When I am a consumer of worship, I am entitled to be critical of what is being offered by the leaders. So when they sing Come Now is the Time to Worship, or some other 1980s song that I am weary of, that is on me, because somehow it has become about my preferences, opinions or ideals. When we move to being producers, our critic becomes God, and the desperation to orient ourselves around right worship becomes overwhelming as we know even our most spectacular praise is spectacularly inadequate for our Lord.
The more consumer minded we become about worship, the easier it is to disconnect from the body. "They don't feed me there." You know who requires to be fed? Babies? If you are maturing in your relationship with Christ, feed yourself. God is a Mighty and gracious God. If you draw near to him through his word/prayer/worship, he will feed you as you feed yourself. If I hear this "I'm not being fed" thing anymore in our churches, I will organize a sunday where everyone gets a bib and a diaper when they come into church. May as well treat them how they are acting right?
So the task of leaders is to reorient our worshipping communities from Consumers of Worship to Producers of Worship. Any thoughts on how?