I recently encountered something on worship by Kierkegaard that I thought was quite poignant (K is one of my favorite thinkers, i.e. when I can understand him. Being in the backyard of Duke University, I affectionately refer to him as “Sage K”). Sage K said that most of us think of “the worship service” at church wrongly: we tend to think of the pastor and worship leaders as the “performers” on stage in the church service and the congregation as the audience. If the pastor/worship leaders are “good,” then the audience is blessed and edified.
This is completely wrong. If you think of the church service in terms of a stage and performance, it is the congregation itself that would be on stage, and God Himself is the audience. The pastor/worship leaders are people who simply “prompt” the congregation so that they can “perform” their worship for God, who is “blessed” and “edified.”
I have often been concerned about how big the “audience” is each Sunday. In reality, the audience for each church service is only One.