The following was written last summer. I was reflecting on the recent purchase of a car and how people tend to look at finding a new church in the same way. I also made an ask that people looking for a new church community look for a “dead” church where they can be of service instead of finding a church that fits their needs. Of course, I say this as the pastor of a ragamuffin, “dead” church. I hope it is of help.
I recently purchased a new car. Now, I love car shopping and when you go car shopping, you have a list of items that you want in your car. Does it have heated seats? What about lane keep assist? Front-wheel or all-wheel drive? Once you’ve decided what you want in your car, then you have to decide on the price and once that’s decided, you drive off into the sunset with your brand new car.
Buying a car works… when you’re buying a car. A consumer wants to make sure they are getting something for a good value. That doesn’t work as well when it comes to churches and yet we think it does. We “church shop” just like we are buying cars. As I said, this doesn’t work well when it comes to finding a faith community, but this is how most people determine which church they are going to join.
Just like that mental checklist I have when I go car shopping, people have a checklist when they go church shopping. Is there great preaching? Is there something for the kids? How’s the worship band? Do they have a choir? What are the politics like?
People bring that mental list when they visit a church. They want to see what’s on their list. Now, on some level, that makes sense. We just don’t want to pick any church or even worse, a church that’s a bad fit. However, when I read the second chapter of Acts, I don’t hear about the new members of the faith looking for the best youth ministry program.
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