I have finally gotten around to downloading some of my Christmas photos off my blackberry. Here’s some shots from the Hillsong Christmas Spectacular.

The backstory is that my sister in law, who attends Hillsong, bought my kids a couple of tickets for their version of a Christmas pageant. While we were waiting for the show to start (yes, i say show quite deliberately) we hung out in the grounds where a temporary fairground had been erected. This doesn’t show even a fraction of it, the rides and stalls were sprawled out over the entire complex, but hopefully it conveys some of the scale.

Hillsong-christmas -2009-1 Hillsong-christmas -2009-2

Hillsong-christmas -2009-3 Hillsong-christmas -2009-4

Now, as you probably gather I was left with mixed feelings. The event was very professional, very entertaining and no doubt attracted many people who might not otherwise bother with Jesus over Christmas. So I want to give credit where it is due. But it was precisely the entertainment angle that left me somewhat uneasy. Are we trying to create audiences? Not that I’m about to cast the first stone, I know I’ve aimed to entertain at times myself. But what should we aspire too? Were popular expectations always entertained by Jesus?

5 thoughts on “Hillsong Spectacular

  1. I don’t think we should worry about it. Paul said, “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22).

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  2. Mmmm…well, I wasn’t there, but I’d probably have some concerns too. I suspect Paul would have had some limits on how far he was prepared to go in becoming ‘all things to all men’, as we should – it’s not as if Jesus didn’t stand for something.
    Matt, I’m assuming your last question is a rhetorical one, and I’d agree with that rhetoric. I have no doubt that the Sermon on the Mount was enthralling, but I’m not sure that it was ‘entertaining’, in the sense that we usually mean it.

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  3. Whilst I can be wary of ‘creating audiences’ – the same can easily be said of many of the miracles of Christ. It was clear that his miracles and speaking were ‘pulling a crowd’ (even from out of the country) Despite the cool missional/incarnational deal. Attractional style evangelism can also be seen in scripture. (maybe not pageants as such but still things that drew a crowd)
    I guess the questions is: Is that where the people are left? or are they involved, connected, activated.

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  4. Whilst I can be wary of ‘creating audiences’ – the same can easily be said of many of the miracles of Christ. It was clear that his miracles and speaking were ‘pulling a crowd’ (even from out of the country) Despite the cool missional/incarnational deal. Attractional style evangelism can also be seen in scripture. (maybe not pageants as such but still things that drew a crowd)
    I guess the questions is: Is that where the people are left? or are they involved, connected, activated.

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  5. Josh, good observation. You remind me of a few memorable occasions where, after pulling the crowds, Jesus went on to alienate many of them, much to the consternation of the apostles. I suppose the big question is, are we willing to do that also with our extraveganzas? Having involvement with our local Christmas carols events this poses questions for me too.

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