Søren Kierkegaard said that we tend to think of church as a kind of theater: we sit in the audience, attentively watching the actor onstage; but in church, God is the audience for our worship. What matters most takes place within the hearts of the congregation, not among the actors onstage. We should leave a worship service asking ourselves not “What did I get out of it?” but rather, “Was God pleased with what happened?” When we attend church, we should focus on that internal spirit rather than sitting back in the pew, like a theater critic, making aesthetic judgments. By focusing on the trappings and not the goal of worship—to meet God—we miss the most important message of all.

From, Church: Why Bother? by Philip Yancey