In 2014, Burger King replaced it’s 40-year-old slogan, “Have it your way.” I can still hear the song in my head after being bombarded with it through advertisements, “your way, right away at Burger King now.” If we think about this for just a minute, doesn’t it sound self-centered? This slogan worked. Why? Because it tapped into a natural tendency of all of us, a desire to get what we want, when we want it. It reveals a consumer driven mentality that often warps our view of how things should be.
You choose the restaurants you eat at based on this tendency. Do they have what you want? Will they provide what you want in a way that satisfies? If either one of these is not met, we simply refrain from going there again. I am sad to say this mentality effects the church more that we would like to admit.
I remember sitting down with a couple about 9 years ago. They were upset with their church. It didn’t have the youth program they were looking for, the music was not exciting enough, and they wanted something better for their kids. Does this sound familiar to any of you? I have to say, I hear something similar to this quite often. After visiting with them, I encouraged them to go to their church and start getting involved. Instead of being disappointed with what the church did not offer, serve the churches need by filling that position. They did, and it turned out to be a very fruitful time for them.
1 Peter 4:10 tells us “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. . .” As a church member, we are called to serve each other. This includes the local church context. Let’s take this a step further. It means that our primary purpose in the church is to serve, not necessarily to be served. When you are a member of the church, it is not about what the church offers you, but what you have to offer the church.
Maybe you are disappointed in the church and maybe you think there are ministries the church should be doing. There may be a ministry at the church that you think is inadequate. Instead of leaving or looking for something else, ask yourself this question, “Am I willing to contribute my time and talents to make it better?” If you are not, there is a deeper spiritual problem. Church is not about having things your way, it is about serving God with everything you have and I believe you will be served as you begin to serve.
This post was published in The Monitor of Naples, Texas on 9/15/16.