Should We Be GETTING From Church? Perhaps, Yes!

What are we getting out of church?I have encountered many people who say that this is the wrong question. They say that it is at the heart of the consumerist church. However, I think there is some validity to the question. Why? People have a deep sense of hunger and yearning in their souls. They want something. They need something. They desire something. The problem is that we try, do and give so many things to try and fill this void. This is the consumerism aspect of it. We have given them consumerism. As with anything, we give a little and they want more. They are thinking we have the answers, so they ask for more of this liquid we call programs. The problem all along is that we don’t know how to give people Jesus, community, and relationship. We as leaders know it exists, or do we? We don’t know how to give people these things. Yet, we know that this is exactly what people need. What are people getting out of church? Nothing but programs. What do they ask for? More programs. What do they really need? Oneness, wholeness—with God and with humanity. If we are not providing these, then we are candy stores. If we are candy stores, then we should give people candy. If we choose to be communities, then we need to give people community. Once they have it, then they can begin to learn the difference between a community and a candy store. However, they have to become a part of the community before we can begin this process.


  1. Dude, I love this... Address the whole thing about when does a person get saved. Well, they can become part of the community, then they can start down that road where salvation happens(grows?).

  2. Justin,

    I agree with you. I know that the church should be providing real relationships and oneness. I agree that the church is Christ's body that is unified with God.

    I am sick and tired of the consumerists of our church. PARTICULARLY parents! I am tired of how parents want us to bend over backwards and do everything for their kids. It sickens me. Sorry man...kinda venting.

  3. Justin,
    Man this stuff is soooo prevelent in our culture, it makes me sick sometimes. The phone calls I get at my Church building are the worst.
    "What does your church have to offer me and mine?"
    I really want to shout NOTHING but death, but being a "pastor" won't let me. We desperately need to get over ourselves.
    keep it real.

  4. I'm thinking about this late night worship thing I'll be doing...

    I'm thinking that it should be a place where people are encouraged and instructed to seek first the kingdom of God. Before community, before justice, before prayer, before scripture. These things come out of seeking God's kingdom. But when sought first, they become idols, and possibly legalism.

    Every week, the same thing: seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

    What will people get out of it? Hopefully a time of seeking God's kingdom. A reminder of what to do and how to do it.

    If they want more of the same thing, they can come again. If they want more stuff, I will gladly dissappoint them.

  5. Well Dave... here is something to think about... the word righteousness mean's justice- so seek first God's kingdom (His rule being extended) and his justice, and all these things shall be added... So what does it mean to seek first his ruling and his justice?

  6. i think its sad that you would gladly disappoint dave. I'm not suggesting that you should attempt to please everyone becasue a) its impossible and b) if the spirit is leading you to something you should respond to that. But gladly disappointing people is not good either. I would encourage you to feel out how that group whoever they may be would like to seek first the kingdom. I would also encourage you to think about how you would lead them in that. Your role is important. It is important for you to lead the group somewhere and not push it. This probably means you have to go there before they do.
    this also ties into justin's post here. if we're really going to offer something that is a value to people at church then it needs to be something that we have to offer. we can't offer them nothing dressed up to look and resemble something. that leads to empty and unfufilled people. we need our leaders to lead people into something living and viberant that we ourselves are taking part in. Not sure yet how to articulate this in a practical situation but i'll work on it.

  7. I appreciate this post. Here's why. We make it a point to take to lunch any new folks that dawn the doors on a Sunday morning service. It is our time to find out where they are spiritually, how they are doing as a family, and what they need to grow. 80-90% when you ask what they are looking for in a church, they will say "we want a church with a thriving kids program." Now being the Youth/Children's minister, you would think I would revel in this, but being a Christian, my first response this weekend to a couple was, "we can't do anything for your kids until we begin a change in you, because you influence them 167 hours more a week than we do." Maybe not the best response for church growth, but the most honest thing I could say to them at the time.