Church is like potato chips.
You know. You can go to the grocery store and there’s an entire aisle (or two) dedicated to potato chips and their many varieties and flavors and alternate versions of flavors and low-fat options and low-sodium options and, well.. church is kind of like this.
What we mean is that our culture has crafted churches of all different sorts that emphasize all kinds of different concepts. Some are big, some are small, some have worship music with guitars and lights and smoke, some have worship music with only piano, some have no music at all, some have female pastors, some have leadership with only men, some have pews, some have chairs, some have a coffee shop, some have charismatic leaders, some have authors and on and on and on. You get the idea.
Choosing a church these days is like choosing a bag of potato chips. “I would like this one with the sea salt and black pepper and I would like this one with the young hip pastor who uses The Office jokes in sermons.”
With all of these churches and the growing ideal of church consumerism, you may be asking yourself, “Are we missing the point?”
Francis Chan thinks we are missing the point of church
In a recent Relevant Magazine interview with author and pastor Francis Chan, Chan expresses his concerns that we have grown to focus on too many of the wrong things and not on God.
In this interview, he paints a picture of church where individuals are focused on what they want out of a service as an individual and are not there to love one another or change the world. Churches, in large, seem to be places where people choose to gather once a week based on some shared interests and stylistic preferences.
The love for one another that Jesus says we should have is how the world will see our love for Him. Not by how we can make church more cool and attractive or more traditional or whatever.
“I think we’ve neglected the holiness of God and prioritizing Him. In other words, we’ve started to create this man-centered church and man-centered theology. The Church exists to please Him, not us. And we’ve lost that. We have become consumer-driven and in our heart to be compassionate toward people, we’ve forgotten that God’s Word should just really be so far above everyone else’s opinion and everyone else’s feelings. And it’s gotten to the point where we think about what people want more than what God wants.”
Go to church for God and goodwill
None of this is to say that the particular church you’ve chosen is wrong or bad, but it is to remind you to check your heart. Why are you at church? To feed your relationship with God and your neighbor or to feed something else? If most of us asked ourselves this question and answered honestly, the answer is probably that we’re there for other reasons. We’re there to get something out of it that makes us feel good or entertains us.
Let’s remember who the church is for. Let’s remember that it is the body of God’s people who gather to love God and to encourage and teach one another how to follow the way of Jesus.