We want to go to a place with ample parking that hands us a latte for free as we enter the doors. We want to sit in a comfortable chair that vibrates. We want a poppin' band. We want to see fog. And a laser light that draws the shape of a cross in the fog. We want a good singer to sing comforting things to us as we listen admiringly. Then we want an energetic speaker to alleviate our fear of the bad economy and inspire us in no more than 20 to 22 minutes. Then we want to leave without being bothered, have our retinas scanned to pick up our kids, and watch them slide down the slide out of the Kidz Playz having heard a lesson from no less than SpongeBob SquarePants himself on obeying parents and not lying. And if we feel like it, we want all that all over again in a week. That's evangelicalism.
That's my paraphrase of a Matt Chandler rant from a recent message to his Village Church.
Element's worship pastor visited a local church yesterday morning, one I have quite a bit of respect for. He said he didn't hear the name Jesus in the message. At all.
We already know that a lot of what passes for evangelicalism has minimal, if any, evangel in it. Is it possible that a lot of what passes for "church" ... isn't?
Borrowing from Jeff Foxworthy, then, here's some signs your church may not actually be a church.
You May Not Be a Church If . . .
Your pastor rarely talks about Jesus. (That's an easy one.)
Your pastor talks about Jesus, but only in the "follow his example" sort of way. (You could be Mormon or even Muslim and preach about Jesus in that way.)
The "worship" songs are mostly about how you feel and what you can do, as opposed to who God is and what He has done.
The extent of nearly everyone's involvement in the church is limited to the weekly service.
Your pastors don't actually pastor anyone face to face but manage "systems" from their office 40 hours a week.
Some of these systems are designed so that the pastor interacts with as few people as possible.
You can't remember the last time you ate the Lord's Supper.
Most of the planning and focus in the organization revolves around designing a killer weekend service.
Leave your suggestions in the comments . . .