Once upon a time, a professor sent a couple of nonChristian students to some Toronto area megachurches and asked them for their reflections. Among some of their thoughts is this nugget:
All that razzmatazz kind of unsettles me. We live in a culture where distraction is often misdirection - like a magician who gets you to look at his left hand while he's disappearing something with his right. I found myself wondering why a group that liked its preacher so straightforward felt most at home in a medium of flashing lights and sound.
The "researchers" both gave high marks to the stripped down gathering of a downtown, mission-oriented church called Sanctuary, because the energy and efforts seemed more poured into serving the community than into a weekend worship service.
The Out of Ur blogger concludes:
What is the big lesson for church leaders? I'm not sure, and I'm hesitant to make any sweeping conclusions based on the opinion of just two people. However, [they] do force us to ask an important question. Why does the majority of most churches' resources get funneled back into Sunday morning (facilities, staff, programs)? And, in a culture growing increasingly suspicious of "razzmatazz," is a spectacular worship production still the best way to draw people to God? (Has it ever been the best way?)
(HT: Transforming Sermons)