Growing up we didn’t go out to eat very much as a family, but when we did, our favorite restaurant was the K & W Cafeteria. I loved the fact that you could see what you were getting before you ordered and that you could pick and choose whatever looked good to you. My sisters and I were each allowed to pick 3 items each: 1 main dish, 1 veggie, & 1 fruit/jello/dessert/roll. I always skipped the jello so I could have chocolate pie instead, and was equally thankful that at the K &W, macaroni & cheese was considered a vegetable! I loved cleaning my plate because I chose everything on it and didn’t have to learn to like anything else.
A lot of times we tend to treat worship like a cafeteria line: picking and choosing only the things that we like best or are familiar to us without considering anything new or different. We get into a rut consuming our favorite songs, prayers, and other “worship” activities and forget that worship is not about us but about God. When our worship experience does not meet our expectations we blame it on the songs, the style of music, or the worship leaders. In reality, worship is not based on these externals but rather on our internal heart-relationship with God. Superficial worship leaves us empty and disappointed but true worship always satisfies!
The following is a sketch I wrote that illustrates this truth in a comical way. I’ve discovered that people respond better to humor than to sermonizing, so if you change the dialogue to fit your own situation make sure you exaggerate the humor and keep the tone light. The point will still be made and people will respond positively rather than defensively.
Worship Cafeteria Style
Server (1), Diners (3), Angels (2)
Stage is set up “cafeteria style”. Left side is serving line, center is dining area, Right side is “throne”. Server stands behind table full of pots, pans, and large serving spoons. Diners go through line with their trays picking and choosing what they want. Angels stand by throne. (There isn’t actually any food in the pans or on the trays…just pretending works just fine! 🙂 )
(Diner #1 enters the serving line)
Server: (loudly) Welcome to the Praise & Worship Cafeteria. Can I serve you?
Diner #1: What kind of music do you have today?
Server: I’ve got old songs, new songs, hymns, choruses, southern gospel, rock…
Diner #2: Well, I don’t want to try anything new so just give me a few of those old songs.
Server: Would you like a sermon, sir? We’ve got two choices for you today: we have sweet & fluffy or long & dry.
Diner #1: (groan) I really don’t want a sermon… But I know it’ll make my mama happy, so give me the shortest one you’ve got.
Server: Any giving today? We have both tithes and offerings.
Diner #1: (sigh) Give me a tithe but no offering – that’s just going overboard.
Server: Enjoy your worship.
(Diner #1 sits in dining area and begins to eat)
(Diner #2 enters the serving line)
Server #1: (loudly) Welcome to the P & W Cafeteria. What can I get for you today? Some prayer?
Diner #2: Who said the prayer today? You know some of those prayers take forever – I just want a short one.
Server: What about music? We’ve got a lot to choose from.
Diner #2: Oh, I just love music! Give me some choruses, and a couple of new songs – I think I’ll even try one of those gospel numbers.
Diner #2: No, thanks. It gives me heartburn.
Server: What about some giving?
Diner #2: Oh, I forgot about that. (looking around) (speaking loudly so everyone hears) Yes, please give me a TITHE and an OFFERING!
(diner #2, moves to dining area and begins to eat.)
(Diner #3 enters serving line)
Server: Welcome to the P & W- how may I serve you?
Diner #3: What do you have?
Server: We’ve got prayer, music, sermons, and giving.
Diner #3: Wow! That all sounds great! Can I have some of everything?
Server: You want it all?
Diner #3: Yeah, give me everything! It’s all good as far as I’m concerned. Besides, worship isn’t about me anyway.
(server fills the tray from every pan)
Server: Come again soon.
Diner #3: Don’t worry I’ll be back- I could come here every day!
(Diner #3 takes tray and moves past the dining area and towards the throne. He places the tray on the throne, and bows down.)
Diner #1: Well, I don’t know what the problem was today but I just didn’t get anything out of this worship experience.
Diner #2: Me neither, they didn’t have my favorite songs like I was hoping for.
Diner #1: I know what you mean. That sermon isn’t sitting well.
Diner #2: Maybe we should try a different cafeteria next week.
Diner #1: I hear they’ve got a new cook at the one across town. Maybe his sermons are better.
(Diners #1 & #2 exit)
Angel #1: They sure did miss out on some wonderful worship.
Angel #2: They won’t be satisfied at a new place either.
Angel #1: That’s because they’ve made worship all about them instead of about HIM.
Angel #2: True Worship always satisfies!
(Diner #3 & Angels raise hands in worship before the throne.)
**Feel free to use this idea in your own ministries. However, please don’t copy and use as your own. All materials here are original in content and the property of Stephanie Shouse and the Spottsville CAMELS. Please give credit accordingly.**
Download a printable version of this script here: Worship Cafeteria Style