Christmas Church Services: An Introduction to the Regulative Principle of Worship

Posted at The New Geneva:

Churches really like to pull out all the stops at Christmas, don’t they? Maybe you’ve been to an over-the-top evangelical church Christmas service, like I have? I read something just this week that gave advice for churches who want to go all out on a Christmas service: “Usually the goal is to create a ‘Wow!’ experience for the people who rarely come to church as well as those who have never been. And hopefully, this ‘Wow!’ experience will get them to come back and start attending more regularly,” it said. But should the goal of a corporate worship service really be to create a “Wow!” experience… for the attendees?

Before reforming, I knew intuitively this goal was somehow wrong, but I could not have explained my reasoning outside of simply expressing a preference. Perhaps I could say “The things that are creating a ‘wow’ experience don’t belong in a corporate worship service! Skits, dances, and candle ceremonies are not appropriate for worshiping God!” but without the Regulative Principle of worship to help explain why, I’d merely be stating my opinion with little more weight than a person answering back “Well, I like skits for worship.”


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