I recently made my first trip to a Japanese Steakhouse. I have to say that it was quite the experience. The chef flipped his utensils, created large flames, caught shrimp tails in his hat, and performed all sorts of impressive tricks. As I watched him cook my food I could not help but think if all that show was necessary. In fact, my wife asked me, “Why doesn’t he just cook the food?”
As I waited for my meal, my mind drifted to the similarities between the Hibachi and the church of Jesus Christ. How often do we put on a song and dance, full of impressive tricks, yet we are missing the most important part? We are not called to impress, we are called to carry out the mission left for us by our Lord.
After all was said and done at the Japanese steakhouse, I was certainly full. I had never seen quite a cooking display before. However, it was certainly not the best steak I’ve ever had (although it wasn’t bad). The question at hand for me that night was, “What do you value more, the show or the substance?” I believe that is the question for the modern church as well.