Worship or Entertainment?

Is it right to bring secular bands into the church, just because they happen to play few songs with “Christian” Words in it?worshiptainment

“Iron and Clay”, the band that played in Moonee Ponds Baptist Church two weeks ago (thanks to Greg), are not primarily a “Christian Band” – if there is such a thing. Even by their own admission on their website, their main focus is on social issues – rather than spreading God’s Word.


“We are a ministry/motivational band that travels 10 months of the year impacting young lives all over Australia. Peforming at primary/secondary schools, churches and social events, we address issues such as bullying, drug and alcahol abuse, drink driving and self esteem through music and testimony.”

Is there room for a church to host such events? Possibly, but Sunday morning worship and sermon should never be replaced by a performance, however entertaining it may be.

Greg did really not take the permission of the church for allowing this event, he just ambushed us and pushed his agenda on everyone, as he usually does. Not many of us were aware of the program for the morning, in that, did we not know that the loud band would take up the whole morning service slot.

Greg admitted last week that Iron and Clay’s music was too loud for him and that’s why he was at the back of the church for most of the concert; one has to wonder why he would invite a band to church that he cannot bear to listen to – possibly an attempt at creating an impression that he was doing it more for the church than for himself; but many of us hated it too Greg!

The church did not respond to the band’s numerous attempt at making everyone ‘dance to their beat’; we are not like the Hillsong church, where music and performances take the main stage; we are a conservative and evangelical church and our main objective on a Sunday morning is to hear the Word of God.

If you actually listen to the lyrics of most of their songs, they are not biblically sound; they may be good to create awareness for the prevailing social issues but there are other times and places to promote such messages; replacing a Sunday service with such entertainment demonstrates that Greg is not a pastor who cares about the spiritual growth of the congregation.


6 thoughts on “Worship or Entertainment?

  1. There is a new word which defines what the mega churches are doing and that is ‘Worshiptainment’. Well done Paul for having the courage to reveal to your church what your pastor is attempting to do. Pastor Mike Livingstone has written a great article tackling this phenomenon in the modern churches. You may find his article informative.


    The heresy of worshiptainment – by Mike Livingstone

    The great heresy of the church today is that we think we’re in the entertainment business. A.W. Tozer believed this to be true back in the 1950s and 60s. Church members “want to be entertained while they are edified.” He said that in 1962. Tozer grieved, even then, that it was “scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction was God.”*

    More recently, David Platt has asked: “What if we take away the cool music and the cushioned chairs? What if the screens are gone and the stage is no longer decorated? What if the air conditioning is off and the comforts are removed? Would His Word still be enough for his people to come together?” (Radical)

    Would it be enough?

    Tozer got it right: “Heresy of method may be as deadly as heresy of message.”


    Like Tozer, we should be concerned that so many people in our churches want to be entertained while they worship. We should be concerned when we no longer recognize the difference between the two. And we should be concerned by the growing belief that adding more entertainment value to worship is necessary for the church to accomplish its mission.

    I may stand alone, but it grieves me when I see worship services characterized more by props, performances, and pep rally atmospheres than by any sense of divine sacredness; and hallowedness giving way to shallowness.

    This is not about worship styles. The issue is not traditional versus contemporary versus blended worship. It’s not about organ versus worship band. That discussion misses the point completely. This is about the heart and focus and intent of worship. The real issues, for me, are these:

    1. Who or what is the spotlight really on?
    If the figurative spotlight in our church services is on anyone other than God, it is not worship. If the spotlight shines brighter on human performance than on the gospel of Christ, it is not worship. If anyone other than Jesus is receiving our adulation and applause, it is not God we worship.

    2. What message are we communicating?
    The message of the church—the message the world needs to hear from us—is not, “Come and have a good time,” “Come and be entertained,” or “Come and find your best life now.”

    Tozer said: “Christ calls men to carry a cross; we call them to have fun in His name.”

    The message of the church is the message of the cross. Lest we forget, Jesus’ cross was a source of entertainment only for those who mocked Him as He hung on it.

    3. How are lives changed?
    “But our methods are attracting and winning people!” some will say.

    Tozer addressed that sentiment: “Winning them to what? To true discipleship? To cross-carrying? To self-denial? To separation from the world? To crucifixion of the flesh? To holy living? To nobility of character? To a despising of the world’s treasures? To hard self-discipline? To love for God? To total committal to Christ?”


    David Platt and the church he pastored, The Church at Brook Hills, decided to try to answer the question, “Is His Word still enough for His people to come together?” They stripped away the entertainment value and invited people to come simply to study God’s Word. They called it Secret Church. They set a date—on a Friday night—when they would gather from 6:00 in the evening until midnight, and for six hours they would do nothing but study God’s Word and pray. People came. A thousand people came the first time and it grew from that. Soon, they had to start taking reservations because the church was packed full. Secret Church now draws tens of thousands of people via simulcast in over 50 countries around the world—with no entertainment, no bells and whistles or smoke machines.

    Why do they come? Platt explained in an interview: “People are hungry for the Word. There’s really nothing special or creative about it. It’s just the study of the Word …. The Word itself does the work!”

    People are hungry. They are hungry for a diet of substance, not candy. More of the Word. Deeper into the Word. Less of what Tozer called “religious toys and trifles.”

  2. So true Phil.
    I spoke with some people at the church about a small issue and they said tell Greg. I told Greg at the church about a small issue that needs to be addressed and his reply to me was that it was mentioned and addressed at the church and that was it but no follow up to or he seemed not concerned.

  3. What happened to the blog? Where are all the posts?
    There are rumors that Greg plans to expel a church member at the special meeting tomorrow.

  4. Because the churches now days are predominantly social clubs with light entertainment they never expelled a person who went into error or would not heed correction by the pastor or elders and now the evil are getting the godly God fearing born again Christians out . Read Jerimiah 23:1-2 and read the rest of the chater. This is happening to modern churches. Builder.

  5. Hey what happened who was expelled? Don’t tell me another sexual abuse case ? Will they sweep this under the rug too? Maybe it’s time for a full government enquiry into this church.

    • John
      How embarrassing say:
      It was about a member who had a verbal discussion that got a little out of hand and the snow flake pastor could not handle it. Rick warren 101 “If members dont like your stlye and excepts changes make life difficult or try and remove them and always surround yourself with members who support you..

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