I cringe every time I hear that phrase. How consumerist can we get? I know some people use the term to describe the activity of finding a church in the area in which they have just moved that follows Scripture. I get that and encourage that.
But other people use it to describe their consumerist, buying-power, almighty-dollar-flexing attitude towards finding a church with all the bells and whistles they want. What stuns me is that they aren’t ashamed of it but just the opposite; they embrace it and wear it like a badge of honor. You know kind of like those choice-a-holics that will drive the extra 15 minutes to go to the movieplex that has 6 more screens and then brag about their experience around the water cooler.
“I’m shopping for a new church because the one I’m going to now doesn’t have a good children’s program anymore.”
“We feel called to this church because it has such great music.”
“We are switching to that other church. Their service times are more convenient.”
This attitude is a me-centered, shallow, consumerist approach to faith that is diametrically opposed to the faith we are called to have. God first. Others second. Me a distant last.
If you happen to attend the getting-to-know class called navigating Northern Hills that I facilitate sometimes you won’t find a sales pitch about all the stuff NHCC can offer you. Nope. I will lovingly challenge you to seek God’s guidance as to which body of believers he wants to place you . . . for his service. I will dare you to pray about it instead of looking at upgrade options. I will offer to help find that church if it isn’t NHCC. If it is NHCC I will expect you to cowboy up and serve your socks off. I will encourage you to pursue God like crazy. I will call it like it is and tell you that there will be people at NHCC that will get on your nerves, that sometimes you won’t like the music, and you’re guaranteed to be inconvenienced at times. Guess what – going to church ain’t about you. It’s about God and others. I will caution you against getting too attached to a particular tradition/annual event/program/ministry because we do things to be affective in introducing people to and growing them in Jesus, not to be people pleasers. I will invite you to embrace your part of God’s story and hang on for the ride. I will call you to live a life that counts and is significant – a life that makes a difference. That’s what you’ll find if you attend the getting-to-know class called navigating Northern Hills that I facilitate sometimes.
. . . maybe that’s why some people haven’t come back . . .
. . . I’m OK with that . . .