The problem is that the consumerism which may draw us to a church usually goes unnoticed and untamed, and so it usually keeps us from connecting and serving and submitting. It keeps us from using our gifts to fill in the holes and needs of the church.
I just preached my first sermon in a series on Philippians this past Sunday. Our lovely assistant Scott was able to get it up on-line through a file sharing program called dropbox, even though he’s in Alabama waiting on his granddaughter to be born! File-sharing makes life so much easier and this free program helps me in everything from updating nursery contacts to sharing family pictures.
Anyhow, I preached on the joy of gospel partnership against the lack of joy which springs from a consumer/spectator mentality. It’s one of my shorter ones b/c we had communion and a baptism, and that’s probably good for me.
There is a question that I ended up raising for myself: While the consumer/spectator “just come to church and never talk about it or serve or connect or plug in,” isn’t biblical, don’t you have to be a consumer at some point?
Yes, I think you do at some point. I know I certainly was when I interviewed at churches. Based upon my previous 3 churches, there were certain things that I was looking for, and couldn’t be part of it. I don’t think its possible to decide on a church without some sense of being a consumer ever, at all. Is the Word being preached clearly and relevantly? Is the church Reformed? Is the worship honoring to Christ and at the same time something you can engage with (not necessarily prefer)? Sometimes people want to find a church based upon fellowship, and I don’t think that’s wrong.