Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Extract from latest Church Magazine

Simply Spectacular

On a very stuffy evening at the end of June we went as a family to Wembley Arena. The treats in store were John Mayal and BB King, each with their own groups – and being entertained by the royalty of Blues music proved to be a spectacular evening. What made it spectacular? Was there lots of well choreographed dancing and acrobatics? No. Was it a fancy back drop and huge screens – no, none of these were present. What made it a special evening? Each of the musicians was very talented, knew their instruments really well, the singing was great and the joy they found in performing was infectious.

I reflected afterwards about this simplicity of performance – the music was allowed to speak for itself and the skill of the performers needed no gimmicks. The story at the heart of the show was the music, the soulful and energetic sound born out of poverty and slavery which went on to influence rock and roll, soul, pop and all other modern music.

I wonder sometimes if we ‘over-produce’ the Christian message. We use gimmicks and programmes and assume that if we can’t offer ‘all singing, all dancing’ worship that somehow we are not good enough, or that we will be ignored. I wonder if we hide behind this idea and lose the essence of the story that we are called to tell. At the heart of all we do as Christians is the simplest, and yet most profound, story. The Gospel of creation, salvation and inspiration is what is truly spectacular and needs no glitter or gloss to disguise it or make it more interesting. Perhaps, like those wonderful musicians we need to relax and be confident about what it is we have to offer. To share the joy we have in Christ will be infectious – telling the story of God’s love with passion and simple delight will be irresistible.