Religion And The Entertainment Culture

Marshall Shelley

When entertainment is the air everyone breathes, it’s natural for people to respond to whatever worship media we use with either “I like that” or “I don’t like that”—even when liking it or not isn’t the point. That’s how you’re conditioned to respond in an entertainment-based culture.

Does this explain a lot of comments ministers receive about worship or other aspects of church life? As well as those comments, I recall turning up at one church as the visiting preacher to lead an act of all-age worship. Before the service, somebody said, “I hope you’re going to entertain us this morning.”

I replied, “I thought we were here to worship God.”

So – thoughts, anyone?

What I do know is that it reminds me of something that happened to me once. I had applied to my bank for a loan to buy a new car. As the staff member took me through the interview in his office, he had to fill in various details about me on the computer. When it came to the question of my occupation, there was no option for ‘minister of religion’ or anything similar. After a lot of deliberation, eventually he said: “I know what I’ll classify you as: entertainer!”


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