Let the Church Be the Church
Americans have developed a consumer mentality about everything. We have so many products and services to choose from, we have become very selective and sometimes critical of places, events, gadgets, food, phones, or anything that does not meet or exceed our expectations. Vendors and providers work very hard to please the public because with the wide spread usage of the social media, folks can “make or break” a business’s success.
Truly, that same mentality has been used to search for place to attend church for some years now. People searching for the “perfect church” to join want something that most matches our time schedule, our social strata, our “standing” in the community, our personal views without having to be confronted by anything that is not totally affirming of us “just the way we are”. Tragically, we have all but forgotten that the church was established by God, for God’s people to be taught from the Bible how to be holy, compassionate, evangelistic, giving, engaging in the culture, bold in faith, strong in prayer, spirit filled, Bible based, Christ centered, and Light in the Darkness. Someone wrote this “tongue-in-cheek” critique of the modern church shopper….
A lot of people take that same mentality with them when it comes to choosing a church. In fact, we even call it “church shopping.”
If we have little kids, we look for a church with a great kids program. If we don’t have kids, we find a church that doesn’t have a bunch of noisy kids disturbing us.
We look for a building that is simple but not shabby, comfortable but not ostentatious, colorful but subdued, cool in summer and warm in winter, and most of all, already paid for so we don’t have to give to a building fund! (By the way, our building IS paid for, praise the Lord! But don’t get too excited, I’m sure we’ll be starting a building fund soon.)
We want the music enthusiastic but not too loud, energetic but not too fast, contemporary but traditional, soothing but exciting.
We want the preacher to be youthful but not too young, relevant but not trendy, spiritual but down-to-earth, funny but full of gravitas…and most of all, able to give a life-changing message in 20 minutes or less!
And if anything stops meeting our expectations, then before you know it, we’re off “church shopping” again!
But the Church was never meant to serve the consumer mentality. The church is unique in that it is not about serving US, it’s about us serving OTHERS. In the church, we are more focused on reaching the non-member than the member…the non-attender than the attender…the seeker rather than the already “found-er”…the newcomer rather than the insider, the desperately lost rather than the comfortably saved. (Copied).
The church is the Bride of Christ and the outpost of His Kingdom on earth….the church that is about that task most consistently is the one that every Christ-follower should seek to join so that they can serve joyously to accomplish the Great Commandment and the Great Commission of our LORD! Lord Jesus, strengthen your church to be a mighty force in this generation!