To those who take time to read through a blog post asking this question, I believe we are probably already on the same page. Let me encourage you to continue reading so that you can both check your heart, and be able to correctly contend with others. The question is, whether church is for worship or a show? I think most reasonable Christians would correctly give the answer that church is for worship – it is not a show. But let’s dissect this idea.
Essentially we must consider if church is for us first, or God first. Are we coming to get or to give? Consumerism is the promotion of interest of the consumer. Many have turned the church service into such – I’m here to get. I come for the music, ministries, friendship with other believers, to get help with my marriage and finances from God’s Word. None of those things are wrong. In fact, I would say they are good. You should come for those things. The question is not are we blessed from being in church, but what is the main reason we attend?
We should first and primarily come for worship. Worship is an expression of reverence and adoration for a deity. For me that would be the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Christian Trinitarian God – God the Father, Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. While we come to enjoy and be blessed, we should first come to worship. The main reason you come will determine if you are coming for worship or consumption.
I want to give a disclaimer: just because I believe church is primarily and first for worship, I do not believe this means, as some have fallen into, that church should be stale. In fact, if we are to follow and reflect the image of God in beauty and creativity, it includes our worship service.
Here are some ways to assess if you think church is for worship, or a show and consumerism for you? First, do you come to be served or to serve? Do you get involved in helping your church in maintenance, ministry, or organic ministry? Or do you come so other people serve you? We should first serve others, which reflects a heart of worship. In Matthew 20:28 we see that Jesus came to earth not to be served, but to serve. Do you come primarily to serve or consume?
Second, do you financially support your church even when you are not at church? If you only give when you are there, there is a chance it is because you are comparing it to a show. You pay for a ticket when you’re at a show, but not in absence. But when worship is your primary purpose, you will give no matter what because you are giving from a heart of worship, not to be entertained.
Third, do you come primarily to praise God, or for yourself in hopes of a changed life? Again, life change is a major blessing for Christians. But if you come for that instead of first worshipping God, you are turning the church service into a show. If you come first because church is primarily about worshipping and praising God for your salvation and His sacrifice on the cross, then you have given worship its proper place. He changes the lives of those who worship and praise Him.
When you step into church, where is your heart? What is the primary reason you attend church? Let me say, if you come for worship primarily, you will be blessed anyway. But if you come first for the show or to have your needs met, you will miss out on the greatest blessing of worship, God Himself. Church is not a show. It is a place to worship. I hope we can all continue to make Him our priority.
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.