Bryan Meadows, an Atlanta pastor and apostle announced on social media that he plans to make performances by aerialists a regular part of his church’s worship service.
Meadows who founded Embassy Church International five years ago, made the announcement on Instagram on April 9 where he posted both photos and video of an aerialist performing at a Christian conference during a worship service.
The announcement has raised concern among some critics who believe the gymnasts might be too distracting for the public.
Ann Brock, a long-time blogger on issues in the black church, has voiced concern about the use of aerialists, pointing to the danger of the performance overshadowing the praise.
“Things like this may be appropriate for an artistic night where people are able to express their worship through various methods. However, doing this during regular service, to me, is just too much. I completely understand that to be present and sense the anointing (if there is one) can change one’s perspective, but there has become too much emphasis on entertainment and enticing people to come in.” she wrote.
Reacting to critics, Meadows defended why creative people like aerialists should be allowed to demonstrate their talent during worship services.
“Because they shouldn’t have to go to the circus to use the gifts that God gave them! The church should be able to create space so that everyone can use their gifts to glorify God… People may be distracted for a couple weeks but they will get used to it!” he wrote.
“If people can get used to all of the other foolery that happens in church… I’m sure they can get used to somebody genuinely trying to use their gifts to worship God.” He added.