Martin Luther King, Jr. put it this way: “There are many people who have caught the dangerous disease of ‘spectatoritis.’ Such persons are only spectators or onlookers but not participants. Such persons watch the minister and choir indulge in prayer and praise. They come to see what is going on rather than to help create, give direction and enrichment to what is going on. The mood of the true worshiper is not passive, but active. He comes not just to get but to give, not to observe, but to participate; not just to see what is going on, but to contribute to what is going on.” —The Reconstruction of the Church –On What Pattern?
Why doesn’t the institutional church give Dones (people who are burned out on and leaving traditional church, yet still love Jesus) an alternative to leaving? There are plenty of places for people who like passive church meetings where everybody sits as spectators. However, churches have not provided worship opportunities for people who want open sharing and participation according to 1 Corinthians 14:26. Perhaps now is the time to open up to Spirit-led participation. Take the first step and visit The Salvation Army Berry Street Worship Center in Nashville, TN. (I was recently interviewed about how we meet at Berry Street @ http://unchurching.libsyn.com/008-can-institutions-unchurch….)
“People are leaving their churches because they feel excluded. Excluded from participating in the communication of the message.” –Thom Schultz
“When the ministry was left to the professionals, there was nothing else for the people to do other than come to church and listen. Soon Christianity became nothing but a spectator sport.” -Ray Stedman