Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Christian Consumer

We are all guilty of this to some degree or another.  We tend to analyze our church experience and ultimately rank in our minds how well we are being "taken care of".  If we get to a place where we are not being fed, it becomes a matter of time before we jump ship and go church shopping.  Don't get me wrong...there are good reasons to leave bad churches.  But hopefully those are doctrinal issues.  If the Gospel isn't being preached, and the Bible is rarely taught...you have grounds to commune with another body of believers.

But yesterday as I sat in a meeting with some of the fellow brethren of my local church, I listened to non-doctrinal problems being discussed.  "What programs can we implement?  What if we change this part of the service?  What if we took time out to pray corporately during the worship service? Can we have a more Spirit-led emphasis?  When will we have the Children's Minister position filled?"

Several of these comments were once thoughts in my own head, so I am not judging anyone for their questions or point of view. However, hearing my thoughts out loud helped me to see how much focus we are putting on ourselves.  "I am not being fed.  I want more.  I wish we could..."  A few Sunday's back I decided to try something.  I decided to go and actually worship God.  Worship is an action-laced word.  It requires ME to do something, rather than sitting idly waiting on something to be done for me. I wanted to see how much of me I could leave behind for once instead of how much I could get out of it. 

Consumer mind-sets are always focused on the self.  Christianity calls us to selflessly give to one another.  To approach each other and ask..."How is it going?  What can I be praying about in your life?  When is the next time we can grab lunch?"  And ironically if we are all serving each other in these kinds of ways...we do end up being served and fed as well.  People want to have an authentic experience with one another and with God.  Buried under every complaint or every suggestion of how to improve your worship experience is a human being that just needs authentic connection to brothers, sisters, and God above.

I pray we figure that out...sooner, rather than later.