Christian Entertainment Centers

September 8, 2016

Christian Entertainment Centers

Could it be that some churches have degenerated to the point where they are little more than Christian entertainment centers? Some Christian leaders, in desperation, may think that the only way to attract people and keep them in the church is to entertain them.

Such churches are often called “seeker sensitive churches.” Some Christian leaders have given in to our consumer driven culture. To attract people to fill the pews they offer to give them what they want. What do the people of this world want?

* Many want something big and impressive. They don’t want to be a part of a small church with just a hand full of members. It must be a big church with an attractive building. It must be a church that has made a name for itself in the community.

* For some, a church should include in its schedule a number of social activities with meals, athletic events and discussion groups that deal with social issues.

* There must be entertainment.

* The worship service must include contemporary music. The preaching must be interspersed with a good measure of humor, even drama.

*Instead of formality, the atmosphere of the church should be casual; come as you are and feel at ease.

The leaders of seeker sensitive churches think they will attract people to their churches so they can present the gospel to them and win them to Christ. It may be that occasionally they succeed in doing that, but in so doing they have diverted the church from its biblical purpose. Local churches are to minister to the spiritual needs of people. In I Timothy 3:15 the Apostle Paul said that the church is to be “the pillar and ground of the truth.”

Many observant Christians have noticed that that which brings people to a church is that which will keep them there. If they come for entertainment, they will stay as long as they are entertained. If they find more and better entertainment elsewhere, they will go there. If church leaders try to attract people to their church and keep them there by entertaining them, they will be in competition with the world. Entertainment is a major business. People can find entertainment in the world. People feel more at ease with the world’s entertainment because it doesn’t put restrictions on cussing and drinking.

A church congregation is like a family. Families do things together. At church the congregation (the family) worships together. They serve the Lord together. They exhort one another. They all share in the work and responsibility. Yes, happy families play together. Is it wrong then for the church family to have fun? Certainly not, as long as it doesn’t take preeminence.

God’s great plan of salvation should be preached in our churches. It is thrilling when someone accepts Christ as his or her Savior in church. We need to invite our neighbors and friends to come to church. They should receive a warm welcome when they come. Churches, however, should cater to the needs of God’s people, not to the unsaved. The Apostle Paul could say “I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” That includes much more than just the plan of salvation.

Christians need to go out and reach the lost where they are. Don’t wait for them to come to church to be saved. We need to find ways of making friends with them and winning their respect and confidence. In Philippians 4:19 God promises believers that he will supply their needs. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” To a certain extent, we all have a need for entertainment, but we need to have enough self discipline to keep it within limits. If we are surrendered to God he will guide us to know when enough is enough.

The type of church that Christians chose is an indication of their spiritual maturity. Self centered Christians gravitate toward the churches that are Christian entertainment centers. It isn’t likely that they will ever mature much in that type of church. Spiritual Christians are content in a church that preaches and teaches the Bible and encourages Christians to maintain a close relationship with God. What is your preference?

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