One of the deejays of the radio station I listen to has a segment during her broadcast where listeners can help people who are looking for a church to find one. I thought it was pretty helpful until one day…
A lady called into the station and she told the host that she was looking for a Pastor who was energetic and charismatic. She wanted a mid-size church, where there was an awesome praise and worship team and a church choir who sang all the latest songs from the radio. She was very specific in what she wanted from the church and that’s what hit me. I thought, with her being that specific, what about the Word? Thinking out loud, I voiced it, “She wants all those things but what about the Word, Lord?” He answered me and said, “What about where I send her?” Gulp. That said a lot.
People want what they want, when they want it, how they want it. And therein lies the problem, one of them anyway.
People are misplaced, out of whack, out of line and often out of order because they are going to church, not so that they can grow; not so that they can serve God, but where they can be entertained and made to feel good. Some are coming to church to get their weekly “fix” being turned on by the music and the theatrics, but they are yet going home still wanting. Still broken. Still needy. Because they are not coming to see Jesus. They are coming for a fix; not to be fixed.
How do I know that? Go back and read everything the lady asked for, yourself. All of those things are pleasing to the flesh. The Word of God says sow to the flesh and you will reap corruption. Sow to the Spirit and you will reap life. This lady in particular wanted a church to satisfy her wants, not her needs and not what God wants for her. Am I being harsh? I think not. She brought it on herself in making her requests known. What was important to her, what is important to us, we make known. Obviously the Word wasn’t important enough to be mentioned, otherwise it would not have been overlooked.
The church is not made to fit us. We are made to fit the church. To fill in where there may be a need. And God knows what that need is, that is why He needs to be the One we seek to find out where He wants us to go. Not the radio station. Not the announcer. Not each other. And definitely not us.
The church is a body. Each one has legs, arms, a head and everything in between. Each one needs each one to fulfill a specific purpose.
People want what they want. They don’t want to go to small churches, they don’t want to go where is no choir, (where they plus the pastor might make the choir), where there is no praise team (but just maybe one or two who sing their hearts out to the Lord), where people who simply love the Lord without the hoopla are gathered together in His name and He is in the midst, just like He said. They don’t want to go where there is no “musician,” (only someone slapping the tambourine from the depths of their soul). They want what they want. They want their flesh to be satisfied, even with giving God the praise. [Side note… it doesn’t matter who is there, what song is sung, whether or not someone can sing, or even play an instrument, if you simply have a heart to worship the Lord you can do it without all of that. Because you don’t just do it in the church, it starts in your private space. That other stuff is made to enhance it].
Anyway… What people fail to understand in selecting the church that they want to go to, is that in that place THEY select, they will not prosper. In that place they will not grow. In that place they will not be not stretched beyond doing what they are comfortable with, what they already do, know how to do or want to do.
Going to the place that God sends you will be a wealthy place. It might not feel like you are supposed to be there, but you’re not supposed to feel it, you’re supposed to know it. It might be small, it might just have 5-6 members, no musicians, no awesome praise team, just one single person who sings from the depth of her belly. It might not have a church choir, or the church choir might sing old songs (the ones they know that carried them through some things). It might not have a youth ministry, where you can separate from your kid during service and send him somewhere else to learn, (or put the responsibility of watching him off on somebody else… yeah, there are some that do that). It might not have any of those things. But IF God has sent you there, it might get it. God has placed on the inside of each one of us, talents and abilities, spiritual and natural. He fits each one of us into the place He needs us to be so that that place can function and have all the parts it needs to grow into a glorious church. The place that lady was looking for, only this one actually HAS the Word! And you know if it has the Word, it has the Spirit of the Lord! Can’t separate God from His Word.
The reason why some churches can do this and do that and sometimes in overflow, is because they have people there fulfilling their God-given roles. If a church is lacking in some area, more than likely, it’s because the people that God is sending to meet that need want to be someplace else bigger and better, in THEIR eyes, at least.
And the funny thing is, their gift and their talents, remain dormant, because where they have gone the church is not using them. That church already has an overflow of that particular talent. God says your gift will make room for you. Not you make room for your gift.
Are you getting this?
We cannot simply go to a church where we want to go, just because we want to feel good.
Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us. All we ask is that you let us, serve it your way. NO. Church is not Burger King and we cannot have it our way. This is not the church anthem and certainly not God’s.
Go where God sends you. Let Him fit you. And then you will grow into the glorious vessel, using all the talent and ability He gave you for the church. And you AND your church will be blessed because of it.
Because God is real, I’m staying (and going) where HE leads me.
A servant of the Lord,