Consumed with Consumerism
We Americans are CONSUMED with the CONSUMER mentality! We’re used to choosing whatever gives us the most "perks and bennies" at any given time.
We look for a restaurant with the best price and menu and atmosphere and location. We go to the clothing store that carries our size, has our taste in clothes, and has the best sales. And if we can’t find that in town, we shop online! We want to get our groceries at the place that's close to home with the best prices, best selection and that's not crowded. (Good luck with that!)
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.
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