I went to a circus for the first time in a long time yesterday. Cirque du Soleil to be exact. It was quite a performance. It got me thinking about some things, including church.
Every church is part circus. There is a performance. There is a stage, an audience, sometimes even a literal spotlight. Some have a small circus, others a huge one. Whether or not a church aims to entertain, all aim to create or facilitate some kind of collective experience around central themes, namely Jesus and his life, death and resurrection. There are ways of doing this right, and ways of doing it wrong, and there are many debates as to the best way to define those things.
This is natural, something rooted in the nature of a creative God who created us in His image. It’s reflective of Him to perform beautifully, and I believe it’s appropriate to aim high for production value in churches. However, it’s not all there is. Church is not all circus, and those that are ultimately prove too shallow to grasp Jesus in all His glory. There is more to church, and the wide range of gifts the Holy Spirit gives the children of God than performances.
There is more than a circus, there is also a war…