A trend that I have noticed over the past several years is more emphasis being put on dramas, plays, and skits than on learning lessons from the Bible in Vacation Bible Schools. Denominations have incorporated these techniques for decades, along with institutional churches, but now they are appearing among conservative churches of Christ.
There are more signs of brethren moving toward “performance” services. Some congregations are engaging in humming instead of singing during their worship service. Some groups use their voices to make instrumental sounds. One Texas church is using “dialogues” of Bible accounts in the pulpit among multiple members, replacing the preaching of the gospel (cp. 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5). Singing groups and “worship teams” are also beginning to appear.
One church in Alabama used hidden microphones to amplify the voices of their “best” singers. Denominations and institutional churches are manifesting the belief that compromise with the world is the only way to reach the world. In a way, they are “ashamed of the gospel” (Romans 1:16). This shame is appearing in faithful churches with disastrous results. The world now sets the agenda for the church, and we are not immune to this temptation. The church’s mission is not to present itself as an alternative to secular amusements (1 Thessalonians 3:2-6).
This whole philosophy undermines sound doctrine by discarding Jesus’ own methods of preaching and teaching as the primary means of work. It avoids strong convictions as divisive, unbecoming, or inappropriate. Instead of teaching error or denying the truth, it does something far more subtle, yet just as effective from the enemy’s point of view. The end result of this is the compromise of scripture. If the preaching and teaching of the word of God are decentralized through dramas, plays, and skits, the church will inevitably become glutted with men-pleasers (Galatians 1:10).
Instead of exalting God, we offhandedly denigrate what is precious to God. Have we fought so hard in the past against the social gospel, only to now let it in by the back door in Vacation Bible Schools? The gospel has power (1 Peter 1:23). We do not have to help it along. Our children deserve to have this lesson reinforced to the greatest degree!