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How Much Church Entertainment OK

I just visited a church where they had a man jumping dirt piles on the pulpit on a motorcycle. The next service they had Spider Man coming down from the roof and he bite the speaker. How much church entertainment is too much?

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 ---Alan on 5/21/06
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Any church entertainment which doesn't have a religious theme and presentation is too much. I would have to guess what you saw was the very foolishness of man trying to use worldly things to save people out of the world or perhaps teach about the world. It just doesn't work that way. I wouldn't even bother to stay for the end in the face of that.
---Darlene_1 on 5/31/08

Sounds like my church's VBS program last year. We had a superhero theme, with Jesus being the SuperHero. Was it a special service? Or, do they do that stuff all the time?
---Madison1101 on 8/4/07

Linda, there may not have been a 'method' that drew you to the Lord, and that's fine. BUT, my point was, there were methods that churches used in the time period when you were saved. They worked back then. They dont work with the same results today, because people have changed. However, I must say, the 'way' in which you came to know the Lord is timeless, and DOES still work today if God's people will allow themselves to be living witnesses like your friend did :)
---T.S. on 5/25/06

Okebaram - the latter of course.
---emg on 5/24/06

True aj, but don't you think the spider man thing is going a little too far since it takes out too much seriousness from the atmoshpere?
---Okebaram on 5/24/06

I don't think the issue is what motivates you to STAY in church. The question is how far should you go to attract unbelievers to church.
---aj on 5/24/06

emg, should people stay in church primarily for entertainment or for spiritual nourishment?
---Okebaram on 5/24/06

T.S., we may be talking about the same thing but we are definitely looking at it from two very different angles. I'll just leave it at that. No sweat.
---Linda6563 on 5/24/06

Exactly emg! Church is for both the saved and unsaved! Where in the world did we get the idea that church is ONLY for saved people?
We have salvations in our congregation EVERY week - thank God! People may show up for the donuts but the preaching of the gospel draws them to salvation. I don't care WHAT motivates them to come, so long as they do.
---aj on 5/24/06

"When did you give your life to the Lord? Whatever methods worked for you back then are not as effective as they are today."

There wasn't a method. As a matter of fact, all I saw was a relationship with God walked out in a true believer. I wanted what she had. That's all it took.

Alan, I wasn't offended.
---Linda6563 on 5/24/06

Alan you've hit the nail on the head there. We are often told that church is the for saved yet then we are told to encourage our unsaved neighbours to go with us etc. And as you rightly say, the altar call is for the benefit of those unsaved that we have taken with us. I'd say that church is for both groups and we need a way of getting them in and another way of keeping them in.
---emg on 5/24/06

Linda ... Please don't treat what I said as attacking you! I was not, just suggesting we need to do something to make them listen. But now you say church services are not for sinners, whic puzzles me for many bloggers here criticise church services if they do not include an "altar call"
---alan8869_of_UK on 5/24/06

3. Because, unfortunately, in this day and time, it is too dangerous- for both the visiTOR, and the visiTEE. In the summer, we were content in VBS with a couple of puppets and some popsicle stick craft projects- NOWdays, VBS has had to "get with the high tech times" in order to keep todays kids interested. People change, strategies have to change as well. THIS IS POSSIBLE WITHOUT COMPROMISING THE ACTUAL SALVATION MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL
---T.S. on 5/23/06

2. You can look back throughout history and plainly see proof that methods have changed- if you WILL. Let me ask you a question. When did you give your life to the Lord? Whatever methods worked for you back then are not as effective as they are today. When I was a kid growing up in church in the 70's, door knocking was very popular method of church growth- you hardly see anybody doing that anymore- why?
---T.S. on 5/23/06

No, no we are NOT. YOU missed my point entirely. I will try again: My point is- METHODS have changed a LOT of times over the years, and every time they do, they are critisized and branded as being 'of the devil' and people who think their way is the only way and HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE ONLY WAY shoot it down and attack it because it's new and unfamiliar, and "we've never done it that way BEFORE!"......
---T.S. on 5/23/06

Have you stopped to consider what God has to say about the mingling of the mind of the world and the method of God? Perhaps you should find out why what I said bothers you so much that you would judge me "as like one of those in the 50's". I believe we are talking about something altogether different.
---Linda6563 on 5/23/06

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I never said that preaching the salvation message was something NEW and would never criticize a man sitting on a street corner singing or preaching such. I don't consider that radical and that is not the same as bringing the "world" into the church. The gospel is God's method of revealing His righteousness. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He was preaching this gospel even in the wilderness using manna, a rock, a rod, etc., not the onions, leeks, and fish of Egypt.
---Linda6563 on 5/23/06

the man on byke, and the spider man, is completely ridiculous if it was done in a regular general service and not some kind of rare, special children's funtime program event (it still seems rididculous, even then). Maybe it was a one-time thing?
---Okebaram on 5/23/06

My point is that the preaching of the gospel is the power of God and it reveals a Christ that not even entertainment can touch. Why move away from that simplicity? Did Peter have to put on a presentation before he preached the gospel and 3,000 were saved?
---Linda6563 on 5/23/06

Eternity is set in the hearts of men. Every man is searching to fill a void in the heart, Alan. Man is looking for an identification. What do you think fashion and entertainment trends come from? The Church services aren't for the sinner anyway. They are for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, to the edifying of the body of Christ.
---Linda6563 on 5/23/06

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Linda, have you stopped to consider just how many times the METHODS of reaching the lost have changed over the centuries? I'm sure that back in the 50's people like you critisized the street preacher who did nothing but play his old guitar and preach the salvation message "radically" outside on the street corner. My Grandfather was one of those who got attacked from "christians" who viewed him as doing something NEW.
---T.S. on 5/23/06

Linda, you say "Those with true hunger for God will come seeking Him when there is nothing appealing to the flesh. They are looking for what satisfies the heart. They come with pure hearts wanting God instead of things or entertainment" Yes, but what do we do about those who do not yet have that true hunger? Those of us who are not full blown predestinationist believe that we have a part o play in creating that hunger, or are we being arrogant?
---alan8869_of_UK on 5/23/06

Linda I think that you misunderstood me, or perhaps I did not make myself clear. I do not mean that we should entertain them for umpteen weeks and then throw the gospel at them. I mean that the gospel should be there in every service. Those who come for the entertainment will quickly see that there is far more to our church services than they thought.
---emg on 5/23/06

# 4 having said all that, I do not pretend to have an answer, or any good ideas.
---alan8869_of_UK on 5/23/06

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# 3 My experience of "house churches" is that they tend to be for the "already saved" and concentrate on how to develop one's personal faith and relationship with God. I don't mean to sound negative, but they do not seem particularly suitable for attracting the non-committed or totally disinterested.
---alan8869_of_UK on 5/23/06

I am sure that Sarah saw nothing wrong with her good idea either, at least not until Ishmael was born and the problems and persecution started. Again, God doesn't recognize anything that is not of Him to begin with, those things that are apart from His character and nature. If we continue to use the entertainment drawing factor to get the people in, there will come a time when that "flesh boy" will have to go...and it won't be comfortable.
---Linda6563 on 5/23/06

Those with true hunger for God will come seeking Him when there is nothing appealing to the flesh. They are looking for what satisfies the heart. They come with pure hearts wanting God instead of things or entertainment. People who are looking for Him will come where His presence is apparent and you won't find His presence in the good ideas of an Egyptian mindset.
---Linda6563 on 5/23/06

emg, that is true but why tempt and tease people to come and then move away from what you used to draw them to begin with? That is part of the problem...inconsistency. Inconsistency is not an aspect of the nature of God, who is unchanging. People want to find someone they can trust and if we are constantly using "programs" to draw people and then changing the scenario once we get them, then we haven't expressed the heart of Father.
---Linda6563 on 5/23/06

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# 2 But it needs to be seemsly. We could attract a lot of people by putting on, say, to be extreme, a strip show, now that would certainly not be seemly. But we would attract very very few by saying they would have to come in and sit silently while a religious discussion took place.
Somehwere in between lies the dividing line!
---alan8869_of_UK on 5/23/06

# 1 Jesus Himself broke a lot of traditions ... how did He attract His audiences, and reach them? Not by preaching to people sitting silently, and prayerfully, in rows in the synagogue. I am sure He would not onbject to methods that are not the traditional ones of churghes over recent centuries
---alan8869_of_UK on 5/23/06

There is nothing wrong with using new ideas to increase one's congregation but make sure first that these ideas have a lasting spiritual aspect. If people come only for a gimmick they will stay just until the novelty wears off and then move to another church with a better, bigger, louder gimmick. The genuine will stay when they hear the gospel preached. At that point the fake will walk after having free entertainment for a season.
---emg on 5/23/06

So, people are trying radical ideas to spread the gospel - and it's clearly freaking a lot of you out. Maybe it isn't your thing (it isn't MY thing btw), but who are you to say that it isn't what God has called them to do?

And jana, yes, there are churches that are trying to reach the lost, but I see a lot of churches who have adopted the "us four and no more" motto. The frozen chosen - who do nothing to bring people to Christ. When I say nothing, I mean NOTHING.
---aj on 5/23/06

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The flesh can produce some "good things" but "good" doesn't necessarily mean "of God" Only the work of God (believing) is recognized by God. My question? Isn't just the simple "preaching of the cross" enough anymore? Romans and 1 Corinthians says it is the power of God to them that believe but foolishness to them that perish. Does taking away from it by adding the "worldly drawing events" mean that we don't believe it really is the power of God?
---Linda6563 on 5/23/06

"if that's the results things like that produce, why are we against it?"

Abraham kind of liked Ishmael too, but when God told Abraham to take his son to the top of the mountain, He said, "Take thine son, thine ONLY son." Ishmael was a result of Abraham's loins and Sarah's good idea and God didn't speak to Abraham for 13 years after he went into Hagar.
---Linda6563 on 5/23/06

Alan, what you describe sounds like entertainment only. If this is the case it is wrong. If there is a spiritual purpose for these 'antics' then that's fine. I know of a church who invited a group of body builders, who performed for the congregation, but the real purpose was to speak of how they came to know the Lord and tell of what their lives were like before they knew Him. There were some very eye-catching posters all over town advertising it which looked like it would be just entertainment though.
---f.f. on 5/23/06

Whatever you use to draw the crowds is what you will have to use to keep them. If big sounds and lights draw them, then it will take bigger sounds and more lights to keep them. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. The assembly was never meant to be the place to bring the sinners to be saved. It is meant to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
---Linda6563 on 5/22/06

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Debbie- I'M not saying that at ALL, don't misunderstand. I am one of those who believe that way too much worldliness has entered the church today. I think you were referencing to the Power Team- I don't neccesarily agree with a lot of that stuff either, but one thing I DO know. My neices boyfriend, who was raised by athieistic parents, was saved at a youth revival "hosted" by Team Extreme (a PT spinoff) so, if that's the results things like that produce, why are we against it?
---T.S. on 5/22/06

aj, you are wrong, many many churches go out of their way to help the question is, are you doing anything to help the lost????? are you????...we all are...and just love doing it knowing that our Lord will be happy. He is going to say to us on judgment day... "when I was hungry, you gave me food", when I was in prison, you visited me etc etc...will He say that to you my friend? please, dont judge others...
---jana on 5/22/06

Are you all saying that God is unable in this modern day and time to reach anyone He wants just by the power of the Holy Spirit. Are you saying He is unable to reach young people without a band and a show of strenth on a platform. Are you saying that He can't send His Word out anymore and draw people in. The pure Word of God with a pure move of the Spirit will do the work without any help from any worldly attraction. If God can't do it by Himself, than it can't be done!
---Debbie on 5/22/06

Jerry Falwell's shoes are on eBay - students from his Liberty Univeristy are selling them and they've got about 20 bids!
---angela on 5/22/06

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In the beginning days of the Church Age, church was often held in the homes of the people. They came together expecting God to touch them, and to,in return, touch God. He was the only reason for the meeting. How far have we moved away from the purpose of heart of those early Christians. May God bring His people back to the place where we can worship Him for the soul purpose of lifting His Name of high.
---Debbie on 5/22/06

2. The gospel itself does not need "doctoring up", but sometimes, the drawing methods do in order to be effective. We have to use methods that young people can relate to and understand. I'm not talking about compromise by any means, I'm simply saying that we have to be "modern" in OUR WAYS OF SPREADING a timeless and unchanging gospel. If the gospel is preached and kids are moved to repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord- go for it!
---T.S. on 5/22/06

The message of the gospel never changes- but the methods have. What 'worked' 20, 30 years ago is unproductive in this day. Now, I believe the sanctuary ought to be reverenced and treated as a holy place. Was this a part of an illustrated sermon, a youth rally perhaps? Todays young people are NOT going to be effected by poorly made "Jesus" films and sitting around a campfire singing "Kum-ba-ya" like they were back in the 60's and 70's.
---T.S. on 5/22/06

God's heart must break when He sees this kind of thing happening in so-called Church. None of that sort of thing is of God. What about all the lost souls out there? What happened to the preaching of the Cross?
---Helen_5378 on 5/22/06

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That isn't church, that is a way for Satan to have his way, to destroy the church. That is what it is, entertainment, but for the people, not to God. People are trying so hard to win the young people in, the forget all about God and how to really worship. It is a shame, as good as God has been to us, we don't do enough for him, and we certainly don't need to have a comic show. It is okay to have fun in church, but what was stated above, isn't for church.
---Rebecca_D on 5/22/06

There are soooo many churches that do NOTHING to reach the lost. People are dying and going to hell every minute of every day. If by chance, an unbeliever is drawn to church by something that is not "holy" or "religious" and in the course of going, they hear the Word and receive Christ, then the ends justify the means in my opinion.
I'm curious, was the "entertainment" part of an illustrated sermon - did it have a point?
---aj on 5/22/06

Churches today, in order to keep their numbers up and the money coming in, are catering to the flesh of their congregations rather than the will of God. This is exactly what causes the Light to go dim in many of the churches today. The only drawing card to any meeting should be the Word of God. It is the only thing that will make a difference in anyone's life. Praise God for those who keep Jesus as their Head and preach the full counsel of God.
---Debbie on 5/22/06

Yesterday we had a half a day service at our Catholic Charismatic church and it was beautiful.

We had praise and worship - singing beautiful hymns, short speeches, the Mass, Holy Communion, more hymns and, of course a break in between with coffee and cakes.

No screaming, no banalities and the presence of the H.S. was deeply felt.
---A_Catholic on 5/22/06

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Church is my Father's House of Prayer. That church sounds more like a circus than a house for worshipping. This know, that in the last days men will be lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.
---Eloy on 5/22/06

And what do all those antics got to do with worshipping God. I suppose they are doing that to "attract" people to the church.Here i know of a church that plays Beyonce music and rock music during the as to make the atmosphere friendly and appealing to the disinterested.
---pkay on 5/22/06

Like I say, Evangelical worship is degenerating into "liturtainment".

About 20 years ago during a service on the Old Time Gospel Hour, I saw a basketball star transfer a spinning basketball onto Jerry Falwell's extended index finger, and I thought with wonder how many souls for Jesus would be won by that act, and how it make me desire to live a life of more intense holiness and prayer.
---Jack on 5/22/06

This comic is performanced because many church goers always sleep in church :)

That's why sometimes, we hear the church leaders, jumping and screaming on the pulpit :)
---t3 on 5/22/06

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Alan, that wasn't a church service but a comic show.

I'm sure they collected lots of money from the "faithful".
---A_Catholic on 5/22/06

The church is not for entertainment at all. In this day and age, people want to be entertained. That is why some go to church. Church is for the worship of God, thru Jesus Christ. Church is where we are edified by the preaching of God's word and where sinners are saved. (sometimes sinners are saved.)
---shira on 5/21/06

I don't go to church to be entertained, this sounds very weird! Was this during a 'normal' service, or a church carnival or some kind of outdoor family fun day?
If it was in church, I'd hop back on my motorcycle and find another church!
---NVBarbara on 5/21/06

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