The purpose of church is for you to minister to others and be ministered to. We receive and we step behind the table and serve others. Then we sing and pray about how blessed we are to be loved by God. Come to surrender your life to the purpose and glory of God…
19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.
3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
The stats are staggering. Young adults – Millennials – are leaving the church in droves. They are choosing other pursuits and beliefs which make them happy and fit their lives. And the church is in a panic.
Jesus and the church have stopped appealing to many of our children as they leave high school and go to college or university or work. There are plenty of options in the world and they aren’t choosing church. Christian parent, how are feeling about that?
Well, I have some news for you. You and I might be part of the problem. I led worship last week. And when the message began I was grabbing a church program from the foyer, a friend of mine said, ‘Hey, good worship!’
Thanks. Good worship. Glad it was good. Good for what? Corporate worship should be a good – no a great – conduit for your humility and praise before our sovereign creator God.
As it happens, my friend is a servant in the church and he gives much time and effort to the ministries of our church. He is far from a consumer, yet he used consumer jargon unintentionally.
And that is, unfortunately, what we and are society have taught the next generation. If we serve the god of our stomachs (Philippians 3:19) and only listen to those who preach what our ears are itching to hear (2Timothy 4:3), we will find ourselves missing the purpose. The purpose of church is for you to minister to others and be ministered to.
If we can live out our purpose, the church will be able to complete its mission: the Great Commission. We should be supporting and equipping people to love their neighbours and share God’s grace with them. We should be caring for those in need who come into our churches needing help. And we should be humbly worshiping the God who makes all of this possible. We come to give to this glorious work. Not to evaluate whether it offers a good value proposition.
That’s not to say that I don’t think we need to market church. I do. We need to get the word out. Our people living the Great Commission is the foremost way to get that word out. Word of mouth. If the essence of the gospel is one beggar showing another beggar where the bread is, then invite another beggar to see where you’re being fed. And once you’re there, after you receive bread, you step behind the table and serve bread to the next beggar. And then you all hold hands and sing and pray about how blessed you are.
Here’s the tag: Come to surrender your life to the purpose and glory of God.
Guess what? That’s actually right up the Millennial’s alley. They want to be part of a mighty cause. They desire clear and compelling purpose. The problem is that we have presented our version of church, which is way more self-centred and way less purposeful than the real deal.
Time to get back to basics. To the essence. For our sakes. For the sake of the next generation. For the sake of the gospel and glory of God…