Yesterday a smart, educated man was telling me about all the churches he and his wife have attended in town. One church was too contemporary for them, another just didn’t feel right, etc… He didn’t indicate whether or not he was attending one currently.
Today, I awoke and turned on a Christian radio station. They were discussing the “right” church for you, the one that feels right, it doesn’t matter where you go, just that you find one, “that’s right for you.”
I wondered, “What does God think of this?” All this talk that everything just has to fit us perfectly or we’re out. Is it really God’s goal to have a church that perfectly fits everyone’s desires to the point that it feels, “right” to them? What are we saying about us when we speak like this? What are we saying about God?
In our culture it’s obvious from the conversations above that we Christians have become pretty self-absorbed. We are consumed by the world of consumerism and materialism. If we don’t like something we throw it out and get another one. It’s our culture. Are we applying our immediate gratifications/consumerism/materialism to the church? We seek out things we like that we feel fit us. Is this really God’s plan for us?
Does God want us to choose our church family based on worship style? Preaching style? Location? Children’s Ministry? Youth trips? Certain kinds of small groups that I like? Use of media?
What’s at stake here is the answer to this question (our worldview): Who or what’s at the center of the universe? Us or God? Who should be at the center of my life? Me, or God? Of course Christians will say, “God!” But, is that how we are fleshing out our lives in our everyday conversations and decisions?
The conversations above are coming from a ME-centered worldview. A ME-centered worldview says, “I’m in the center of it all and I make decisions with me as the most important thing.” A God-centered worldview looks a bit different: it means God is placed at the center and God is elevated as the most important. My personal desires yield to God’s commands in Scripture.
Entertainment based ministries are fun but lack depth and aren’t a place to grow in your faith. These kinds of churches yield to the ME-centered church shoppers.
We have a young couple that noticed this about a local church that does big events and spends a lot of effort entertaining people and trying to do cool stuff by creating different fun themes and applying them to the Bible. If we are God-centered, we start with the Bible and the theme comes out of scripture. If we are entertainment based, we think of a theme and apply the Bible to it. Make sense? It’s a bit ME-centered.
What is the “right” church?
when the pulpit is ME-centered, every reaction to it will also be ME-centered. When the pulpit is Christ centered first wtih a servant’s heart for the flock, the response will be too. The problem is, Satan has more pastors than Jesus does in “churches”. Submitting to satan in the name of Jesus is still submitting to satan.
Yes, the enemy LOVES it when we focus on ourselves!