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Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Audience vs. Congregation vs. Wild Cheering Fans

What do you call it? On Sunday morning it seems wrong to talk about performing for an audience. The church has assembled to worship God, not sit and watch a performance.

They are a congregation, not an audience. They are ekklesia--assembled in body for the purpose of worshipping God on Sunday, just as they are assembled in spirit and purpose as they go about their daily work throughout the week.

Worship is interactive--or at least it seems to be most effective when it is interactive. When we lead worship in the form of a four minute drama, are we encouraging the congregation to become a passive audience?

Maybe a sports analogy is better. They are the crowd. The twelfth man on the field. But even that analogy has problems because they aren't cheering for the worship team to achieve victory. They are cheering because God has already won the victory.

Maybe I am looking at this backwards. Maybe all of these other human groups are analogies of Christ's church. An audience focuses its attention on the actors and the message, just like a church. A crowd of fans cheer their team onto victory, just like the church cheers Christ. Our idolatry of the entertainment industry comes from our own misunderstanding of the original truth of human gatherings.

The purpose of every person's life and every gathering, crowd, audience, or congregation is always and only to worship God.

The question shouldn't be whether the ideas of audience and congregation are incompatible. The real question is how does an audience worship God. What does that look like in modern America?

HillCountryWriter Category: Drama
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eVery interesting question...especially with the Church of Christ in our family history.

Also I really wish that we could see all your dramas!

I wish you could see our dramas too. That's why I posted them by the way. They are probably too long for a blog though. Isn't the number one rule to keep everything under 500 words?

Rules are made to be broken. I wish this site were more customizable. Maybe someday.

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