This meme has been making the rounds on social media. As you can imagine, it has generated many comments.
One person responded, “No thanks, rather be at the bottom one.” Another commented, “We started years ago, I think we may have had no more than two dozen parishioners at that service, but today I run a Yamaha CL5 console for a mobile campus that has two morning services and approximately 300 people per service. God is good!”
A third, “This is a very humbling. I’ve been working hard on being able to immerse myself in worship in any environment and no matter how the music sounds. It’s definitely much easier for me when the production level is higher.”
Why is that? Why is it easier for some to worship when production elements are executed with excellence?
To quote Madeline L’Engle from her book Walking on Water,
“If it’s bad art, it’s bad religion, no matter how pious the subject.”Madeline L’Engle
None of God’s own creation is of a poor quality. We inherit our desire to create from Him. We are after all made in His image. Yet, in the modern church it seems at times some have convinced themselves artistic mediocrity is a hallmark evidencing a superior piety.
Might it be we assume that because God can achieve His will without us, that our role, especially in areas of aesthetics and art are inconsequential?
Might it be we have forgotten that when it comes to practical ministry – and art for that matter – that although God advances His own Kingdom, He most often chooses to do so through us? God can certainly move mountains, but more often than not He requires us to not only bring, but to use the shovel. Certainly God expects us to do the best we can with whatever tools, time and human resource capabilities we have. Our art, regardless of the resources available, should be all His, an offering not unlike the widow’s mite. This principle holds true whether we serve in a congregation of 50 or 50,000.
Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.Mark 12:43-44 NJKV
If the focus is on Who we serve, it should make little difference where we serve.
Tom D’Angelo has worked in television production and AVL corporate theater for nearly four decades. He is Emmy Award nominated (Best Director category, Mid-Atlantic) and has been part of various teams nominated or winning national Emmys. As the Media Director at a megachurch in the 1980’s he developed a love for the Church and church performing and technical artists.