It’s Worshiptainment!

Picture this with me: a church’s worship team on a float in a parade. The float’s speakers are blaring out the latest Christian music Top 40 hits. The team is smiling and waving to the crowd…maybe even karaoke-singing along as the float crawls up the parade route. The float features a sign with the name, slogan, address, phone number and website of the church, along with a mention that their team does WORSHIPTAINMENT. They have a kickin’ team, covering your favorite worship songs…every week!
I’m not making this up.
I’m not going to engage in a rant here, because I think most of you reading this are probably 90% gone, mentally riffing on this horrifying word, saying the same things I did when I heard about this.
I have to give the worshiptainment team props for at least coming right out and being honest about who they are. I’ve known more than a few worship teams…and choirs, for that matter…and middle-aged women doing “special music” during the collection time…that are doing worshiptainment. They just don’t call it that.
I’m a big fan of excellence, and relevance, and the vertical thrust in worship music that helped a lot of us understand how to sing TO God, rather than singing information about Him to one another, which is what a lot of church music always seemed to be. My heart has been changed by encountering the presence of God in corporate worship.
His presence isn’t always accompanied by music, of course. But I’m specifically thinking about corporate experiences I’ve been in places where a roomful of people has had to stop singing because God’s presence was so overwhelming.
I’ve seen worship bring order to the chaos and confusion in an Altzheimer’s unit. I’ve been in a small group, praying, and together we’ve spontaneously, and off-key, begun singing a song of praise. A response. Humility. Invisibility. Beauty.
An offering, our gift. To Him.
Rather than wringing your hands about the $nature$ of the modern worship movement, consider this question: Have you ever been in a corporate worship setting and experienced the presence of God?
If the answer is no, ask God to show you what it is like to have heaven touch earth during a time of corporate worship.
If the answer is yes, remember it today. Let it spoil you for the hollow substitute called worshiptainment.
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About Michelle Van Loon
  • Anonymous

    Worshiptainment? What next? Again I return to my firmly held belief that if we, who say we are believers, don’t take worship and the Christian life seriously, how in the world to we expect anyone else to do so? I doubt the early Christian martyrs, nor those who live daily with the threat of REAL persecution, had or have concerns about how much fun it all is. This whole “worshiptainment” mentality has really come to wear on me.

  • Michelle Van Loon

    You are right, Anonymous. And I think it would take our breath away to hear the worship coming from those prison cells. It might not sound like music, but I think it sounds like heaven.

    I don’t want to be worshiptained.

  • Anonymous

    Dorothy Sayers says in her “The Greatest Drama” that the Gospel story is…”the tale of the time when God was the underdog and got beaten, when he submitted to the conditions he had laid down and became a man like the men he had made, and the men he had made broke him and killed him. This is the dogma we find so dull–this terrifying drama of which God is the victim and hero.
    If this is dull, then what, in Heaven’s name, is worthy to be called exciting? The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused him of being a bore…”
    We don’t need worshiptainment; we need humility and repentance at the feet of the Almighty.

  • Anonymous

    Dorothy Sayers says in her “The Greatest Drama” that the Gospel story is…”the tale of the time when God was the underdog and got beaten, when he submitted to the conditions he had laid down and became a man like the men he had made, and the men he had made broke him and killed him. This is the dogma we find so dull–this terrifying drama of which God is the victim and hero.
    If this is dull, then what, in Heaven’s name, is worthy to be called exciting? The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused him of being a bore…”
    We don’t need worshiptainment; we need humility and repentance at the feet of the Almighty.

  • Anonymous

    Oops. Sorry. I didn’t mean to send that twice.


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