“We are very happy at XXX Church” I heard someone say about the new Church they were going too, and in one sense there is nothing wrong in that, but something within me jarred a little.
I worry that Church is becoming more and more comfortable, and don’t get me wrong I’m all for being seeker sensitive with good coffee, comfy sofas in the coffee area, and a heating system that actually works.
Yet Church ought to be a bit like the gym, it is not meant to be comfortable, it is meant to stretch and challenge its members. The faithful preaching of scripture should induce challenge, accountable relationships and the call of Christ to serve him (whether within the ministries from the Church or on the frontline).
My worry is we are becoming so much of an individualistic society that we think Church is there to serve us, rather than to equip us to serve Christ, the danger is that we become consumers where the notion of sacrifice, service and cost seems to be much missing in many modern-mindset.
With the larger ‘more successful’ Churches growing I wonder whether this is because it is easy to creep into a large Church, and easier to be a bit lazy (not saying that great and faithful people aren’t called to successful Churches but sometimes is where those who ought to be serving are “doing a bit of a Jonah” being a bit anonymous in the crowd.
You can enjoy the Sunday celebration without having any expectations made on you.
It is easier to spectate and sing a song or two whilst sipping a latte, whilst saying phrases like “the worship didn’t do much for me!” -er it wasn’t for you! ‘I enjoyed the talk’ -I’d rather it challenged or changed you than you simply enjoyed it (in fact if you disagree with me at least you engaged with it!!)
A challenge, is are you being challenged?
Does being with other Christians in your context stretch and challenge you?
Do you hear comfortable messages preached from the word or is there some bite to it?
Is there accountability there?
Who calls the shots? Is it you? Do you only do what you like doing?
(Interesting question, which might reveal your heart, how long have you been a Christian at your Church and do you know where the hoovers kept? Have you ever cleaned the toilet? Or done any act service that is ‘glamorous’)
Is there an expectation that you will be serving and using your gifts, skills and talents for the Kingdom or is it easy to come and go ‘under the radar’?
Are you a contributor or a consumer?
I don’t believe consumerism and true authentic discipleship can ever co-exist.
Does meeting with God’s people ‘spur me on towards love and good deeds’? If not, why not?