When did Christianity become a spectator sport?

23 Feb

On Saturday, I was watching the University of Washington men’s basketball team play the USC Trojans. When the Huskies were pulling away from the Trojans at the end of the game, the fans at the Galen Center in Los Angeles began streaming for the exit. I remarked to my wife, “Typical L.A. fans. Once the team falls behind, let’s head for the exit and get on the freeway before everyone else.”

I wonder how many church goers are more like fair-weather sports fans than committed Christians. When the worship team plays my kind of music; the pastor gives encouraging, and of course short, messages; I can park close to the door; my friends sit close by; the coffee is hot and the donuts are fresh; and I’m not asked to usher or teach; I’m in my favorite seat at church. But when the worship team is too loud; I don’t like the music; the pastor starts meddling and stepping on my toes; I have to park in the north 40 of the parking lot; they run out of coffee and donuts; the nominating committee keeps asking me to serve as a Deacon; or the Christian Education workers keep pestering me that it is my turn to serve in the nursery; well, it’s time to find another church.

Last summer, a family clan started attending our church. The pastor of their church had recently passed away and the family was concerned about some of the proposed changes on the horizon. So, they started looking for a Bible teaching church and landed at our place. Week in and week out they faithfully sat in the same pew and absorbed everything that was taught. They proclaimed us solidly biblical and evangelical. But they never connected with the congregation and/or got involved in the life of the church. In January, I preached a series on 2010 Vision and tried to raise the bar of expectations regarding each of our responsibilities in the areas of outreach, connecting, and service. We have not seen the family since.

As it turned out, I guess we were too biblical for their tastes.

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Posted by on February 23, 2009 in Church, Ministry


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