Are you behaving like a Consumer Christian when you attend a worship service? Are you looking for a choice seat where you will be the most comfortable? Are you praying the music won’t be too loud or too soft? Are you looking around for your group of friends to sit with –the ones you feel most comfortable with? Are you ready to leave to make a donut run when you find out your favorite pastor will not be preaching in that service? Do you text during the worship time? Do you critique the service on your way home? If you said yes to any of these questions—you are in danger of being a Consumer Christian.
It is time to wake up. We don’t come to church to worship you or me. We come to worship God. You need to bring something to the table when you come to a worship service. What can you bring? Come to worship with your adoration and praise for God. Come with an expectation of meeting with Him and experiencing corporate worship-which can be indescribably beautiful.
“I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds. (Ps. 77:12)
“I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.” (Ps. 119:15)
Our Christian society today is so self-focused that we pick churches based on how they best fit our needs, just like we would a health club, a movie theater, or an elementary school for our kids. Can you imagine a person getting to heaven and asking Saint Peter at the pearly gates what time the contemporary worship service would start? I don’t think so. We have gotten ourselves in a mess in our American Christian culture. Many have become church hoppers—seeking out the perfect church for them. Do you hear and see the “me” focus in this attitude?
The end result of Consumer Christianity is a shallow life full of shallow friendships. If we are ready to look elsewhere whenever we feel uncomfortable in our church, we will never develop the strength of character Jesus desires for us. There will be times when personalities clash and viewpoints differ. Family is about working those things out—not jumping ship. The local church should be our family. Jesus will use these experiences and trials for our growth. Satan wins when he hangs us up with our own self-interest and breaks up the church family.
Remembering our own insignificance in comparison with God’s great plan helps us gain the proper perspective-life is not about us and worship is not about us. We must be ever vigilant to guard against these attitudes in our churches.
The next worship service you attend focus your mind on Christ. Meditate on him before you arrive. Bring praise, adoration, and thanksgiving. We were created to worship, and we will find great satisfaction there. And when you find yourself becoming dissatisfied with that service’s music or message, push yourself off that throne, ask God to help you get free of self-centeredness, and look for reasons to praise God.
, Sharon Hodde Miller