Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
- Romans 12:1 NIV
In Sacred Roots, Pastor Jon Tyson writes: "In a "church as entertainment" culture, instead of seeking to be equipped as disciples of Jesus, we are slowly formed into consumers and critics who give ratings and reviews on a local church's performance. But when we expect the church to entertain us, it limits its ability to challenge us. Entertainment rarely transforms."
But have we missed the real purpose of preaching the Gospel?
For those who follow Jesus, the question is never, "What's in it for me?"
Jesus never called us to be consumers of the programs or choose the church with the best amenities.
So, we have witnessed a shift in Christianity and the local church.
Richard Halverson, the former chaplain of the United States Senate, said, "In the beginning, the church was a fellowship of men and women centered on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece, where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome, where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe, where it became a culture. And it moved to America, where it became an enterprise."
The "church business" is a massive enterprise in America. Many believers shop for churches the same way we search for restaurants and other forms of entertainment, but Jesus called us to follow Him.
So, yes, let's go to church, and yes, let us serve the church. But let's not focus on being served or enticed by trinkets and treasures.
Let's focus on worship and giving our all!
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. (Romans 12:1. NIV)
Let's pray this together.
Precious Father, never allow us to get caught up in the worldly trends that lead to deception and distraction. I pray that the eyes of our understanding are enlightened and that we see the error of our ways. As believers, we desire not to be consumers but to contribute to the local church and the Kingdom of God.