When we as the church attempt to feed the entertainment bug planted in all of us by culture, we will only perpetuate, and not treat, the epidemic. How do we treat entertainment fatigue? By re-centering our gatherings on the person, life, teachings and witness of Jesus. When we follow and feast on Jesus we will gradually move away from the need to ‘be served’ and look for ways ‘to serve.’
Cultivating a Church Culture Centered on Jesus
Jesus makes faith real and alive. He moves faith beyond the abstract into the realness of flesh and blood. Jesus makes the invisible God human and approachable. Jesus makes the picture of a distant God into a God who is near. Jesus makes God human—someone who can identify with all of our insecurities, pain and loss. God is no longer distant, but close. God is no longer ‘out there’ but ‘right here.’ In Jesus, God became one of us.
We as the church will always lose our way when anything other than Jesus captures our attention. If anything usurps the central, defining place of Jesus, everything will slowly begin to unravel, sometimes without us even realizing it.
In a recent interview, Leonard Sweet said it this way,
There is only one singularity that matters and if this singularity is in place everything else coheres. And that singularity is Christ. In everyone’s life, in the life of the church, when Christ is made the single, supreme focus—when the person of Jesus himself becomes that supreme, singular focus—then everything comes together.
What we need in order to maintain a healthy body, individually and collectively, is to feast on a steady diet of Jesus—his body in the bread and his blood in the wine.
When the sacraments of Jesus, served within community, by community and for community, in the form of prayer, scripture reading, communion and baptism, become the food that feeds the church, then and only then will “we grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).
In communion, followers of Jesus partake and share with one another the body and blood of Jesus. They are formed by the sacrament of prayer, baptized into his death, raised in newness of life and delight in eating the bread of scripture, while serving one other in an attitude of humility.
I’m weary of being entertained. The church was never called to be an entertainment complex, but a hospital, where we look for ways to serve one another’s needs, as we also serve those around us with the medicine of Jesus Christ—the healer.
Are people growing tired of the church’s glitzy stage? I believe so.