5 Dangers of Too Much Church Entertainment

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Manny Rosario

“Are you not entertained?”

The famous quote from Russell Crowe’s character in the movie “Gladiator,” when he passionately asks the crowd in the arena, “Are you not entertained?” serves as a poignant reminder of the sentiment many pastors experience as they strive to engage congregations and maintain attendance at church services.

It was Charles Spurgeon who said, “Within suitable bounds, recreation is necessary and profitable; but it never was the business of the Christian church to supply the world with amusements.”

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Churches can get distracted from their mission of city and world transformation by focusing too much on entertainment in several ways:

1. Emphasis on Spectacle: When churches prioritize elaborate productions, performances or events, the focus can shift from fostering genuine spiritual growth and community engagement to creating impressive entertainment spectacles.

2. Consumerist Culture: Adopting a consumerist approach where churchgoers expect to be entertained rather than challenged to actively participate in transformative activities can hinder the mobilization for impactful outreach and service.

3. Resource Allocation: If a significant portion of time, energy and resources is dedicated solely to entertainment-oriented programs or facilities, there may be less available for initiatives focused on community outreach, social justice or missions.

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4. Leadership Priorities. If church leaders prioritize attracting larger crowds through entertaining activities over equipping and empowering individuals for service and mission work, the congregation may become passive spectators rather than active participants in transforming the world.

5. Lack of Discipleship: When entertainment becomes the primary focus, opportunities for meaningful discipleship and mentorship can be overlooked, leading to a shallow understanding of faith and a lack of motivation for impactful action.

To avoid these pitfalls, churches can intentionally prioritize activities that promote spiritual growth, community engagement and mission-oriented outreach, while still offering opportunities for meaningful fellowship and enjoyment. This might include fostering a culture of discipleship, encouraging volunteerism and service projects and providing resources for global missions and local community development.

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Manny Rosario is a leader in church mobilization. He pastored in Central Florida, where he led congregations toward city-wide outreaches, for 18 years.

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