Are you dissatisfied with church life?
Over the years, I have met many people who have become dissatisfied with church life. As a pastor I know it is important to make church life meaningful to people who are part of my church community. However I have to admit I can’t keep up with the consumer culture that is being cultivated in us. Much of our society is steeped in consumerism. Advertising has promoted items that claim to give us satisfaction. We now have choices which leads us to compare products and services to find what can give us the greatest satisfaction. Consciously or unconsciously we have fallen into the game of keeping up with the Jones.
I remember watching the TV series “Little House on the Prairies” many years ago. The church in that series was part of the community. The pastor was very much part of family life and the local church shared the highs and lows of that community. If a person had a conflict with the pastor or the church, there was a need to work through it because there were no other churches to go to.
However today, we have churches everywhere. People no longer go to a church in the community but a church that meets their needs. If they didn’t like what one church offers, they move on to another. As a pastor I constantly feel the pressure of meeting the consumer needs of church members. What would Jesus do if he was pastoring a church in the 21st century? And I have a funny feeling that He would say, “If you cannot give up all that you are pursuing, you cannot be My disciple.”
There are 4 steps that will take Christ-followers from a path of discipleship to a path of dissatisfaction.
Step 1 – Start criticising about church life. Instead of looking at the positives or working at bringing positive changes, be critical of the faults of the pastor or the church. Compare your church with what appears to be perfection in other churches.
Step 2 – Start believing that you are entitled to better services from your church community. Instead of seeing the church community as your spiritual family where you share life together, start noticing that the church is not meeting your expectations.
Step 3 – Start spending less time with your church community. If there are so many faults in the church and it’s not meeting your expectations, then start staying away from church and don’t relate with the members of your spiritual family. Stop seeing Sunday mornings as the weekly gathering of your spiritual family. You will soon feel disconnected from church life
Step 4 – Look for something else that can satisfy you. This could be another church. And when you get tired of that, move on to another church. Don’t forget you could also replace church with spiritual TV programmes and books. Or you could take up fishing, golf or Facebook 🙂
The alternative to deal with dissatisfaction with church life is to be an agent of life within your local church community. Pray for your church and church leaders. Get to know members in your church. There are a number of “one another” verses in the Bible – love one another, practice hospitality with one another, serve one another, be kind to one another, forgive one another, etc. If we practice these ‘one another’ verses we can never be dissatisfied with church life.
Lets be agents of life in our churches.