Last night on the national news, it was revealed that a bit of "lip synching" was going on at the spectacular Olympic opening ceremonies. Of course, that is not too suprising until they said why it happened. Apparently, the little girl who sang was not "cute enough" for an international to see. She was not "flawless in image" (their exact words, not mine) and so sang "back stage" while the cute girl got the camera time. Now, I don’t want to go "off" on this…but we see this all the time. Image is everything…we’ve heard that now to the point where it is embedded in our collective psyche.
Yet, before we start tossing salvo’s of critique China’s way, it is time we look at how we do this regularly even in within the walls of the church. I remember going to several conferences a few years back where it was made very clear that the people who were "on the platform" in front of worship experiences had to "capture the image" of who the church was trying to reach. They had to have coordinating clothing, smile nicely and look just right in order to be allowed to be on the "up front" teams.
You want more, you ask? Many churches look for that "smart, youthful looking leader" because he/she has the right presentation and personality to attract a crowd. Like I said, "image is everything". And what about "video venues"? Why are we in American church seeing more and more of that type of strategy? Because of image…people apparently can’t have live teaching/preaching or even music because it is not "as good" as the "flawless image/presentation" of the "man behind the curtain".
I was thinking something a bit "over the edge" yesterday but I’m going to put it out there for your collective consciousness…what if one day we regard good religious faithfulness in these type of church expressions like we see good nutrition at McDonalds? Just thinking out loud! When will we stop idolizing image?