(pic credit: ©2017 crisbaj. Used with permission)
A reply to a private comment about the Blog posted 5/22 (Performance… or Presence? Pt 4: Arena Worship Concerts and Tours)
The comment (paraphrased) was, “analysis in the Blog was about the big events and tours in ‘the Marketplace’… but your end-summary of ‘helpful things to move the needle’ went very local-church and small group/personal worship, and didn’t speculate about the future of the big events….”
“Could you answer that question: what’s the future of the Modern Worship Industry big-stadium and large-scale Marketplace events?”
First, thanks for pointing that out. I re-read the Blog and thought, ‘yep, I didn’t answer the on-topic question!’ regarding the big events… Sorry
Overall, at this point in our Marketplace history, I anticipate the big events to continue. All of the ‘secular’ agencies involved… advertising, music industry, ticket sellers, arena-owning corps, parking services… they are all enjoying the huge profit margin of Mod Worship events, with a very low risk profile (few violent outbreaks or drug busts at Mod Worship events).
The popularity of these events does seem to have a steady growth in momentum at this time within the Churches, and these gigs are almost self-promoting… “sssppptt, did you hear that a Chris Tomlin concert is coming to the Big Arena next month??” … heard in the Church lobby…
One reality-check: these events can only grow so big, before they begin to self-repel. I just went to a rock concert at the Rose Bowl with 95,000 people. It went off well, but the sheer magnitude of size made going an all-day, into-the-early-morning affair. People can only do… and afford!… these big, involved, and expensive gigs on a limited diet.
Walking my thought-process backward, I probably betrayed one of my ‘secret suspicions’ in that ‘small group/personal’ answer… namely, all these God-worship big-events are heading for a time of significant push-back from the non-Christian world. I don’t want to take alarmist positions, or support paranoia within the western Protestant church, but a time of resistance is coming, and the public events are the easy and obvious targets for the ‘anti’s’. We now live in a totally post-Christian world, and a post-Christian West, and the forces of opposition are mounting. There will come a day when holding a large public event Mod Worship night in some big arena will be deemed hate-speech or an illegal x-y-z-bashing event.
The real litmus-test in all this is going to be when the post-Christian ‘world’ comes against the gathering of ‘John- Chapter-4’ Worshippers and Adorers of God and Jesus Christ, even at buildings, property and locations owned by Churches. How will we respond?
With all the current public Mod Worship events, coupled with an un-precedented lack of resistance in the West to these gatherings, what will happen when we are forbidden from holding these big gigs?
I am pretty sure that real Worshippers of God will continue to worship, and know that it’s a different season.
I keep going back to the ‘Church that came up in Acts’, the Ekklesia that formed from the time of Jesus, until the ‘Constantine contamination’ of 315 AD. Those 300 years of people-explosion coming into God’s Kingdom was under the boot-heel of one of the most ugly and brutal military regimes in history… Rome. It hunted down Christians and killed them. The Church was born into the baby-basinet of an under-ground worship life, meetings in homes and catacombs… mostly in secret… and the sheer penetrating radiation of the Holy Ghost’s presence and power that came with that. People came into those meetings by one-on-one invitation from a specific Christian, not a big general advert campaign. Early on, Christians were kicked out of the Jewish synagogues. They couldn’t hold public worship gatherings, because that usually meant beatings, riots, being fed to lions and torture-parties. Then, from all that resistance and martyrdom came the glorious roots that is now the Church.
I’m not sure when that season will come in our day, either sooner or later. I do suspect that knowing this lends some answer to the question ‘what’s next?’ in Worship-Adoration.
In that coming day, God-Worship and God-Adoration will be more like the Church of Acts and the Catacombs, rather than the current ‘bigger-better-more professional-cool new songs’ currently being pursued.
Upon reflection, I suspect my answer was rooted in some of those historic stirrings.
Ultimately, it comes down to Worshippers pursuing God, hearts that say ‘Seek His face!”, and have a passionate drive to seek the face of the Lord (Psalm 27:8), regardless of the push-back, context or opposition.
…so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky. (Philippians 2:15)
written by crisbaj
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