Posted by Kurt Scobie on December 11, 2014 

This a post about some "stuff" we have to work out in our lives as worshipers of Jesus.

I see it in the corporate worship setting all the time. Maybe you've sat or stood next to someone like this before. Or maybe this is you...

Sometimes, as I look out into the crowd during worship, I am surprised at how many camera flashes and red video recording lights I see as we head into the "big" parts of songs. Someone's favorite singer or favorite song has just begun, so the camera is rolling. And then there are the "live-tweeters" giving their followers a running news report of their "worship experience". Instagram is loaded with collages (complete with captions and about a bazillion hashtags) by people bragging about how good worship is at their church.

We seem to be more interested in creating a beautiful play-by-play documentary of our religious activities, than actually engaging our hearts.  So, instead of actually being present in the "big" moments, we settle for low-resolution and poor audio quality memorabilia that will be lost or deleted along with our cat photos. 

Our hearts are disengaged.

And that is at the root of the problem. I don't necessarily have a problem with people wanting to snap a photo or even a video to show how awesome our church is. I mean, it is awesome. I'm proud of the work that everyone does to bring together each of the worship services each week in my.

The problem is distraction. The problem is a lack of engagement in what is happening in the "here" and "now". The problem is that we are treating this sickness and loneliness in our souls with something other than God. We're worshiping the blessings instead of the source of those blessings.

I have to ask, what are we really collecting all of these digital memorabilia for anyway?

The irony is that while we are feeding our smartphone addiction during corporate worship, we are missing out on the very thing we need to free us from that addiction. 

Today, I challenge you to surrender. Smartphone and all. Not because no one should ever take a picture during worship, but because we rob ourselves of the opportunity to receive from God. AND we rob God of the opportunity to receive from us our undivided attention in worship.

So, please. Open your heart, not your Instagram.

Engage your mind, not your camera.

Sing from the depths of your soul.

Bring your finest offerings to the house of God. A sacrifice of praise.

Worship Jesus as though he really is alive and in the room. He is.