The giant screens announced, “Caution: High Intensity Strobe Lights Used In This Service”. I mused that I had never seen such a warning posted at a church service before!
But in today’s church of the hi-tech gospel this may be all too familiar. One church spent in excess of one million dollars upgrading their lighting system to the latest state of the art quality that would rival any modern performance hall.
Other churches seeking to be a part of the new “hip” Christian movement have created pulpits more resembling concert venues than sanctuaries. And young worshipers flood in to hear the hot new bands and music.
Going in reverse five hundred years or so, majestic cathedrals dotted the skies of most European cities. Like treasure chests filled with ornate marble statues and icons the sun poured through colossal stained glass windows creating a myriad of beautiful colors cascading upon the congregants.
From sixteenth century pipe organs to computer generated lyrics and rhythm tracks the church has marched onward in the quest for beauty and relevance. But has the gospel gotten lost along the way?
I stood in a field in east Africa amid a few scruffy trees and parched bushes. The wind gently blew across our faces giving a welcome relief to the grip of the hot summer sun.
We laughed and sang and someone shared the Gospel. We prayed and later broke bread together. There were no switches to turn off. No cords to unplug. No warning signs to be shut off. Just simply church.
I thought about home and what we have become and wondered “can’t Jesus be enough?”.