Before I was ordained, and still in seminary, a minister I knew and respected confided to me that he was afraid, at times, that he was becoming an entertainer, putting on a good show. I am aware of that in myself, as well. Certainly, I am aware that leading worship is a performance, and that people in the pews can like it, or not like it, and that they will let you know.
I also remembering preaching a sermon in a class at seminary, in which I "made 'em squirm" by being provocative and confrontational. One of my fellow students remarked that his folks "liked it when I beat em up a little" before preaching the gospel. So, there is an entertainment value even in making the congregation uncomfortable.
These anecdotes from years ago are only meant to say that some ministers have been aware of the temptation of entertaining the congregation for a while.
Recently, I hear this critique of the temptation faced by the minister sliding into a critique of the shallowness of the congregation. They view worship as consumers. They "shop" for churches. They are looking to be entertained.
Tsk, Tsk and Tut, Tut!
O Lord, if Thou has called me to be a minister, then why hast Thou not supplied me with a congregation worthy of my ministering?
Isn't our task to meet people where they are?
There is also the obvious irony in the smallest and most highly educated religious movement in the country becoming concerned that it might be attracting the wrong sorts of people, who are coming for the wrong reasons.
I beleive that the cause of this confusion on our part is that we have our priorities backwards. Unitarian Universalism seems to believe that our principle task is to build religious communities, which we define as being the active members of our church/congregation. The worship service is the way that we explain and enact the religious community in the hopes that people will be attracted through the service into joining the religious community. The service is the show that we put on to get them to join. So, if people come and participate in the worship service, but don't become active in the religious community, then it means that there is either something wrong with the service, or something wrong with them. If they just want to partake of the worship service, then it must be that they are consumers.
In fact, the reason why we see them as consumers is because we have conceived of worship as a form of advertising.
To take worship seriously means that we have to be willing to see it as an end in itself. That what matters is that people come and worship with you and yours, and find it an occasion of reflection and redirection in their lives. Even if you don't know their names, and they never join the church, or make a pledge. It would be better to have a weekly attendence of 800 people, with 100 pledging members than to have 300 pledging members and only 200 there on Sunday morning. That scenario might be one part of the future.