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Lights, Cameras, Action :: Pass the Popcorn!

April 28, 2008

Popcorn © Christian WatzkeChristian Smith writes:

Dressing only in our best on Sunday mornings is not a big deal. But it is symptomatic of a problem that is a big deal. People bring to church too often only their nice selves, attractive selves, dressed up selves. Leaving our real selves, the selves our families see, at home and bringing only our dressy selves to church risks turning church into two hours of “impression management.”

When you look at church in terms of a presentation of self and impression management, you see a frightening resemblance with stage show business. All the elements are there: costumes, a master of ceremonies, makeup, a script, a stage, ushers, music, a chorus, an audience, props, lighting, and programs. The only differences are occasional audience participation and the lack of tickets and popcorn!

But church is not a show. Church is not a place for actors and actresses. Church is community. We shouldn’t have to dress up for each other, either literally or figuratively. We should leave impression management at our jobs. At church we should be at home. Church should be a place where our authentic selves, feeling accepted, can relax.

—From Going to the Root: Nine Proposals for Radical Church Renewal (available from Searching Together in the U.S.A. and Eden in the U.K.)

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