Church is…not for you – Philippians 1:27-2:11
1) The problem with me
Consumerism tells us we flourish as human beings by buying or experiencing anything we want.
“Your identity is now constructed by the clothes you wear, the vehicle you drive, and the music on your iPod. In short, you are what you consume.” [From Lord to Label: How Consumerism undermines your faith]
2) Why I have a problem with church.
- Does this church fit my lifestyle? Is it cool enough for me? (Or am I cool enough for it)?
- Are there people here who are just like me?
- Are the people here going out of their way to make friends with me?
- Are the housegroups convenient for me?
- Would I be embarrassed to be seen here by my friends or family?
- Does the preaching here fit my need for inspiration that will get me through the week?
- Does the preacher tell me the sorts of things that I want to hear?
- Will they let me play in the band / preach / perform my party piece?
- Is there enough of the stuff I like in the service?
- Am I experiencing transformative worship when the band play?
- Will they look after my children so I can worship?
- Is church as entertaining as the other things I could be doing on a Sunday morning?
- Does the time of the service fit my Sunday routine?
- Is the coffee as good as Costa?
- Do I feel like I’m getting value for money with my giving?
- Consume a better sermon.
- Consume a better worship experience.
- Consume the experience of community.
- Consume better coffee.
- Consume the inspirational leadership of the perfect visionary vicar.
3) A new attitude
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8)
Attitude means your settled way of thinking. It’s not what you believe, it’s the bit of your mind that takes what you believe and puts it into action.
“I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:14)
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)
“We find ourselves not energized for any great cause, but always thinking about the way to maximize our leisure and escape pressure.” The great irony of this is that we are “bored” in church because we maximize leisure and escape pressure. We are living from one pleasure high to the next, looking for the next big wave to take us closer and closer to the sunny sands of the American Dream. However, the easy road of entertainment and the pursuit of the American Dream have, in the end, left us still bored and still dreaming.” (John Piper, When the Darkness will not lift)
I want to know more:
- Article, “From Lord to Label: How consumerism undermines your faith”, www.christianitytoday.com/parse/2006/july/from-lord-to-label-how-consumerism-undermines-our-faith.html?paging=off
- Article: “Consumerism goes to Church” by Anthony B Robinson: “www.patheos.com/blogs/progressiverenewal/2012/11/consumerism-goes-to-church/#ixzz3QmtjAOpj
- Book: “What Is a Healthy Church Member” by Thabiti M. Anyabwile
- Book: “The Road to Daybreak” by Henri Nouwen