There’s no doubt we live in a culture that is consumer-minded. Everything revolves around attracting the consumer by offering more and expecting less of them. Many businesses spend lots of money developing slogans and signage that are meant to communicate one thing: we will bend over backwards and do whatever we have to in order to earn your business.
This mentality has invaded the church to the very core. You cannot exist as a church without catering to the whims and desires of those who would consider themselves regular attenders or members. There does not exist a church I know of that is entirely geared toward those who need the truth of the gospel.
Why is this the case? Because when we are looking for a church home some of us will even say “I’m church shopping.” Blech. (That’s me throwing up in my mouth if you didn’t understand that). Others will say “I just can’t find a church that meets my needs.” Blech. Someone once called a church I worked at and started the conversation by saying, “My family and I are moving to the area and are looking for a church to attend. What do you offer for me and my family.” Blech.
We have so perverted the purpose of the church we think it’s acceptable to choose a church family based on what they have for us to consume. As if the church itself exists for the saints and not the sinners. Jesus was very clear:
“When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” – Mark 2:17
I long to see churches filled with individuals who seek to be contributors instead of consumers. I long to talk to an individual or family who is seeking a church home that says “Here is how God has gifted us. Are there needs in your body that might indicate God is leading us to your fellowship to be used there?” I long to see churches that don’t constantly struggle with volunteer engagement because we’d rather be served than serve.
Are you a contributor or consumer? How is God using you in the place you worship? What new areas is God leading you to serve, help, equip, etc. in the church? One day we will enter eternity and the work will be ended. Let us spend ourselves fully in the work now so when we enter heaven we enter a well-deserved rest.