Shopping For A Bargain
Every believer is called of God to help in building the Church. Now we know that the Church is not a building but a body of believers called out for God’s purposes. Like any conscientious carpenter, I find it necessary to return time and time again to the blueprint (God’s Word). This I do to insure that everything is in accordance with the plans of the Architect and Owner.
Sometimes having an example of the Architect’s efforts makes reading the blueprint easier. I am of course referring to the church built by the Apostles. I realize times have changed, but the basics of good church building have not. The early church founders were far more interested in ministry than they were in making the meeting place comfortable. It seems today that more and more church attendees are shopping for the best bargain.
Several years ago I visited with a young couple that had asked to use our sanctuary for their upcoming wedding. They had attended one of our services and had requested that I perform their wedding service. At our very first counseling session they let me know that they wanted to use our sanctuary for the wedding but that our church was not exactly the sort they wanted to attend regularly. In fact, they told me that they had visited in Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, and Catholic churches but had yet to find what they were looking for.
Knowing how different are the doctrinal views of these churches, I asked what it was they were looking for. The young man told me they wanted to belong to a congregation where people loved one another and were excited about religion. He added that they didn’t really like churches that had too many services or services that lasted too long. What they wanted was a bargain church - A church that offers a lot and asks little in return. Little did I know at the time that I was observing the beginning of a trend.
I. Have Churches Changed?
A. What was ordinary has become extraordinary. Thirty years ago….
1. Pastors preached for an hour and no one expected less
2. We sang every verse of the invitation hymn and people actually prayed for a response
3. Sunday evening services usually lasted an hour and then there was fellowship
B. It was understood that people needed the church
1. People invested their lives there
2. The church was a place of stability and a hub of activity
C. There are still a few congregations like that
1. They exist because we will not settle for less
2. They are kept alive by the prayers and faithfulness of the saints
II. Guideline For Building the Correct Way
A. Individuals must set some personal standards and goals
1. A standard for church attendance
2. Enthusiasm for worship and praise
3. A standard for financial support
4. Active participation
B. Love your church!
1. Let everyone know of your affection
Become a spiritual magnetic and draw people in