What is your motivation for going to church? Really. Be honest. Are you looking for entertainment?
Do you go for the fellowship. Do you go for the programs for your kids? Do you go because you’re supposed to? Do you go because others will think ill of you if you don’t? Do you go for the music or excitement or so you will get a good feeling?
There is a prevalent belief these days that our church much have it all. Here are ten “I wish our church had” areas that often become requirements:
- Great, inspiring, fun music
- Challenging and exciting preaching
- Warm, friendly and attentive members
- Self-sacrificing pastor with a well adjusted family ready to serve at a moment’s notice
- Smooth running services that are uplifting and leave us wanting more
- Quite, happy and well-run nursery, Sunday school, youth group, mom’s group, singles group, etc.
- Big savings, no debt
- Beautiful building, big fellowship hall, big parking lot free of holes, beautifully manicured lawn
- Comfortable chairs/pews, new clean carpet, beautifully decorated ladies’ bathrooms (men don’t care)
- Ministry opportunities that fit into our lifestyle and require little time or effort
…and the list goes on.
Do you expect all of this? Guess what…there was no mention of doctrine here.
Our belief system is the most important facet, yet it seems to be the last one considered in many cases.
Do I want all of the above? Sure! As a matter of fact, my DH and I have been discussing and working on all of the above for about a year now. Nobody wants a boring, lifeless worship experience. So we must be always working toward “having it all,” but never rate our church as undesirable or disappointing if it doesn’t.
We have two choices if our church doesn’t line up to our expectations. LEAVE or FIX IT.
We choose to fix it because we have a pastor who wants it all too! YEP. He’s the perfect pastor – not because he’s perfect, but because he has a proper outlook on what a good church is and is willing to work with us with a proper spirit and proper expectations.
If we decided to LEAVE for something we thought was better (but only because God called us to), then we leave with a proper respect for the one we left and never put it down to make ourselves look better. Not every church is right for everybody. We have to find the right one that fits our family. BUT, always make sure it’s for the right reasons: doctrine – especially the doctrine of salvation. It is paramount and must be considered above all else.
The people are the church. The programs are nice but they aren’t the church. The building is nice (some don’t even have a building!), but it’s not the church. We are the church. (Believers)
Christ gave himself for the church – not the building or the music or the programs. All of those things are good and can help the church reach others, but we must give proper place to “things.”
There is so much that I want. I want my church to grow and become an exciting vibrant example of how we ought to worship as believers. BUT, I won’t expect everything on my laundry list to happen right now (though I WANT it to!) nor will I sit back and wait for others to do it all (though I WANT them to!).
We must be patient, willing, understanding, wise, hearty, prayerful, kind, studious, faithful…you get the picture.
Let’s dig in and make a difference in our church. Let’s plan and make lists and dream. Let’s not quit, complain, nit pick or oppose. Let’s work together and make our churches what they were intended to be – a hospital for the sick, a refuge for the sinner and a home for the believer.
P.S. I’m not targeting anyone or anything or any church. It’s just me thinking out loud and sharing with those who seek to improve their church for God’s glory.