I’m Not Looking For “An Exciting Worship Experience” — I already have Jesus

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A while back, I received a glossy flyer in the mail from a newly planted ‘church’ in a city near us.

Being the vigilant and inquisitive person that I am, I wanted to know a little more about this new “church plant,” so I looked them up online.

Their official website says that you can expect an exciting worship experience.

What’s wrong with that you ask?

Well, nothing. . . if that’s the only thing you look at.

But if you look at this statement about an “exciting worship experience” along with other ingredients, you will see a bigger picture develop.

Their official website reveals that this organization was planted by a larger association which endorses Rick Warren and is a part of the purpose-driven, culturally relevant, seeker sensitive, emergent, “church growth” movement.

Now, when I look at the phrase “an exciting worship experience” in this context, it seems like more of a selling point to attract customers.

The purpose-driven “church growth” movement is a big business, and those who are involved in marketing its institutions understand something very simple: if you want to attract customers, grow the customer base and increase profits — you have to lure people in with excitement and entertainment.

In many cases, this type of religious marketing is very effective at attracting crowds, because many many people are absolutely obsessed with excitement and entertainment.

Indeed, the adrenaline rush and the “religious high” of “an exciting worship experience” can be addictive, even more addictive than drugs, alcohol, and sex.

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For many of us, it is challenging to just sit still and quiet our minds or read a book in silence. How could we?

With our smart phones ringing, buzzing and beeping all times of the day and night, hours upon hours of background noise from the TV, music and videos streaming online, and almost constant notifications from social networks — we are overstimulated.

Sometimes when we are praying or reading the Bible, things that we saw and heard on TV or online pop into our mind and distract us from focusing on the Lord.

Our minds are overloaded with sounds and images of frivolous entertainment and our carnal senses are overindulged by earthly amusements.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that entertainment and excitement are ‘sinful’ or that once you become a Christian your life should be boring.

Entertainment and excitement have their place. But not as a selling point or a gimmick to attract ‘customers’ to a business that calls itself a ‘Christian church.’

When we experience an exciting moment in worship, let it be orchestrated it by the Spirit of God, and not manufactured by the flesh.

If the aim of providing “an exciting worship experience” is to attract and retain members and increase financial profits — then we’re not really worshiping God, but ourselves and the institutions we have built.

When an institution attracts people with “an exciting worship experience,” they have to keep inventing new gimmicks with higher levels of excitement to hold the interest of supporters. Just like a crack addict, they have to smoke more and more crack in an attempt to recreate the first high that they experienced.

What happens when these people don’t find the “worship experience” exciting anymore? Do they drift off into the New Age Movement or the signs and wonders movement to find a more exciting “worship experience”? Do they become bored and head for the nearest exit?

For many people (like myself), advertising “an exciting worship experience” accomplishes the exact opposite — rather than attracting me, it is a deterrent which discourages me from attending.

I’m not interested in attending institutions that view me as a potential customer and try to lure me in with “an exciting worship experience.” I honestly find that type of soliciting an insult to my intelligence, a degradation of true worship, and a gimmicky substitute for Biblical fellowship.

True worship is about denying ourselves, taking up our cross daily and following Jesus. It’s about walking in the Spirit and abiding in the truth of Jesus Christ. It is about assembling with other Christians to hear the teaching of God’s word and do the “one anothers” listed in the New Testament. It can be exciting at times for sure. But other times, it is not so exciting.

Jesus worshiped the Father in Spirit and truth 24/7. Would you characterize His life as “an exciting worship experience”? Jesus worshiped the Father as He wept in John 11:33-35. Was He excited then? No. He was expressing grief and empathy.

Jesus worshiped the Father while He prayed for strength in the Garden of Gethsemane. Do you think He was having “an exciting worship experience” in that moment? I don’t think so. I think that He was under an immense amount of physical and emotional stress.

Was Jesus having “an exciting worship experience” when He suffered and died on the Cross? I don’t think so. Yet He worshiped the Father by submitting to His will to the point of death on the Cross.

I could bring up countless other examples from Scripture demonstrating that worship has nothing to do with excitement, thrills, chills, and goosebumps. Yet we seek after “an exciting worship experience” based on emotionalism and our own happiness, not the will of the Father.

The Lord was not focused on giving people “an exciting worship experience.” He was focused on preaching the Good News of salvation, inviting sinners into the Kingdom of God, and making disciples.

He rolled up His sleeves and did the dirty work that the scribes and Pharisees didn’t want to do.

Jesus said “if I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto Me. Are we lifting up Christ to draw men unto Him, or are we lifting up “an exciting worship experience” to draw men unto our own organizations?

Some professing Christians have replaced Jesus with “an exciting worship experience.”

We have replaced the Lord of glory with contemporary worship music, professional lighting, dry ice smoke machines, hip and trendy stuff, and slick marketing. And then we wonder why the number of “dones” and “nones” are on the rise and Western ‘Christianity’ is losing the youth.

Who do we think we’re fooling?

We claim to be seeking Christ, but the truth is that many of us are seeking a fix or a “hit” like a religious junkie. And it seems that we have overdosed, and it’s time for us to go into rehab and detox.

We know how to entertain, we know how to dance, we know how to rap theology, we know how to sing, we know how to play instruments, we know how to look and sound trendy, we know how to attract crowds with trinkets, we know how to give people goosebumps and have “an exciting worship experience”, but we don’t know how to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and make disciples who follow HIM and bear good fruit that remains.

Many Believers are not falling for it anymore because we are DONE with this superficial presentation and religious performance calling itself “church” “Christianity” “faith” “worship” or whatever.

Nothing and no one can compare to the reality of Jesus Christ and walking with Him in simplicity and freedom. Not rock bands. Not Christian rap. Not the best vocalists in town. Not slick projector presentations. Not huge flat screen monitors at the front. Not stage lighting. Not a high-tech sound system. Not a cafe in the foyer. Not the best musicians on this side of heaven. Not a dance team. Not a ‘Christianese’ self-help sermon. Not a skinny-jeans-wearing ‘pastor.’

Jesus doesn’t need anything or anyone added onto Him to make Him ‘more appealing’ or ‘more attractive’ to anyone — not even an “exciting worship experience.”

If people don’t want Jesus for who He is, then let them be. God isn’t desperate. Mankind is in desperate need of a Savior, and those who recognize their desperate need for Him will trust in Him and worship Him for who He is without any additives.

Jesus+Nothing=EVERYTHING.

If you know this, then an “exciting worship experience” is no comparison!

I end this article with a passage about the Supremacy of Christ.

“15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,

20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1:15-20)

Stop trying to excite people and preach Christ!~

16 Comments on “I’m Not Looking For “An Exciting Worship Experience” — I already have Jesus

  1. This was superb and spot on! I understand and have even witnessed many of the things you have mentioned here. I don’t know how other people feel about this but I just almost feel my skin crawl when I hear people say things like how the dance ministry or praise team “ushers us into the presence of God” or that say things like the Spirit “filling the atmosphere”, that’s not how it works at all. God did not give us the Holy Spirit to fill the atmosphere, the Holy Spirit is NOT the contents of a can of spray. God sent the Holy Spirit to fill people, not “the atmosphere”. These are all churchaneese terms I have heard right here in The Bahamas and elsewhere and I cannot stand it, but if I dare to bring it up I get massive opposition.

    It’s a lot of catchphrases that are circulated in the churches that replace the actual true word of God, to the point where people think these foolish things are actually Biblical facts. Another thing I noticed and I can’t explain why but it gives me an uneasy feeling, hearing people talk about being “worship leaders” or “worship pastors”, what on earth is that supposed to mean? It comes off so odd to me and out of place and like an office created by a bunch of singers or musicians who want a title in da church. And not to ramble on but another thing I noticed and this really bothers me, is people who without hesitation say the Spirit told them or showed them something and then they proceed to say what it is and when you listen you know God’s Spirit did not tell them that or show them anything because they’re uttering the most carnal mess. It’s like do these people have any fear of God in them. Sooooo many warnings and consequences listed about people lying about dreams and saying the Spirit of God showed them this or that, but in spite of all the warnings, people throw around “the Holy Spirits said” or “God told me”, like it’s nothing, completely disregarding the consequences that fall upon those who said they heard form God and did not (these same people usually NEVER talk about false teachers or false prophets and they shoot down anybody who shows them what’s written in Jude or elsewhere about false teachers and false prophets) Many of these same people wield around the phrase “The Spirit told them” like they’re the only ones who have access to the Holy Spirit and can hear from God, so in other words you just shut up cuz you’re wrong and I know because I heard from the Spirit. The thing is most people who in reality are hearing from God’s Holy Spirit, do not act like that at all, For example, the people who love to say touch not thine anointed, they’re usually using that phrase to silence somebody who corrected them and actually is anointed. the irony.

    One day last month or month before a group of Christians in a Fb group I’m in were discussing Noah and the ark and Noah and his children. One guy actually took the story with Noah’s son exposing his nakedness to say that’s why we shouldn’t talk about pastors, it’s like Noah’s son exposing Noah, and this guy went so far as to say those who expose or talk about pastors have an unclean spirit (he gave a name to the spirit but I can’t remember what the name was, it was a name from somebody in the Bible), that made me so upse, he disregarded ALL the scriptures that tell us to warn others, to expose darkness, wolves in sheep clothing, etc etc. It’s sillyness like that and people being so convinced it’s correct (but it’s all churchianity) that I usually feel like just staying away from most churchgoers, plus they scorn correction. I could go on but i’ll stop right here. lol. Great post.

    • Welcome! Awesome comment. I agree with everything you said and have seen the same nonsense going on. It’s like nails scraping down a chalkboard when someone says “anointing fall” “ushering in God’s presence” and cliches about “the Spirit filling the atmosphere.” The issue is that “Old Covenant Churchianity” is being practiced rather than the reality of the New Covenant. We are already anointed (the anointing/Holy Spirit dwells in us), so we don’t have to call down an anointing from heaven. Nor do we have to be ushered into God’s presence over and over again at a Sunday service, revival, or conference by a singer, musician, etc. When Jesus died on the Cross, He split the veil which separated God from man and opened access into God’s presence through His flesh. So those who trusted in Christ and believed the Gospel were ushered into God’s presence by the Holy Spirit. So “Christ the hope of glory” (via the Holy Spirit dwelling in us) is with us and in us all of the time, hence His name “Immanuel” meaning “God is with us.” This is all basic teaching in the Scriptures, but it is obscured in man-made religious organizations that are operating in an Old Covenant paradigm.

      • What you said is so true, but when a person tries to explain all of that to a church-goer, it goes right over their head. They will argue and argue how wrong that is even if they are shown scripture. I had that issue on people who are still deceived by the tithing teaching. In spite of me actually showing scripture to the people, a woman still told me she will continue to tithe plus she feels basically I don’t understand or know what I’m saying because her theology classess at church teaches her different (and in her eyes their teaching is correct).

        I keep telling people that most of these so call teachers and self appointed pastors who only have doctorares but no anointing, are simply men who were taught by men who were taught by men who were not taught by God. Still many rather place all of their faith in the wisdom of man rather than in the power of God. A man from church told me how he missed church a couple Sundays because he had to work. He felt bad about missing church and he said how he can’t be missing no church because “you get your blessings that way”. I told him that you can be blessed other ways. There are people out there who believe simply attending church services warrants a blessing from God. These are all teachings people learn from the pulpit by people who are teaching error.

  2. WE have a very fast growing church. This past EASTER we started having EASTER service on GOOD FRIDAY to accommodate the crowds. I know you will not believe this, besides having the Friday night service we had fireworks and a egg hunt along with a guy in a bunny costume to have your family pic with….ON GOOD FRIDAY. I think this was the last straw. I have no need for that excitement especially on GOOD FRIDAY.

    • Wow. . . I’m sure some people would say that’s harmless and “fun for the kids/family.” But I think it’s unnecessary and even a mockery. I guess just focusing on the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ isn’t exhilarating enough?

  3. MAT 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites : for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
    6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
    7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen : for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
    8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

    JAM 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
    3 Knowing , that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
    4 But let patience have perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
    5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
    6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
    7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
    8 A double minded man unstable in all his ways.

    1CO 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

    PHL 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
    13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but one thing , forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
    14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
    15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
    16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
    17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
    18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, the enemies of the cross of Christ:
    19 Whose end destruction, whose God belly, and glory in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
    20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
    21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

  4. Excellent!!!
    I’ve spoken on this subject many times within my network of friends & relatives. Some reacted with polite nods; and a few with downright scorn! How dare I “attack” their “high praise?”
    Keep sending these messages, some will hear it enough that it will go from their heads to their hearts for a revival of the spirit!

  5. Great article. I wholeheartedly agree. Someone may say that the church has to try new methods to attract people. The Spirit of God draws the people through the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We should never allow methods to compromise the supremacy of Christ.

    • Amen Stanley “The Spirit of God draws people through the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We should never allow methods to compromise the supremacy of Christ.”

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