The most amazing thing happened the other day … I think I found Church-God! I was searching online for the types of qualities I believe a Church-God should have, and much to my amazement, I found a Church-God that appears to meet my standards and expectations. I watched one of the archived services online and was blown away by the praise and worship. The musicians are very talented and their song choices were ones that I particularly enjoy. Oh, and I should mention the sermon! Wow! I agreed with everything the pastor said. It’s so refreshing to hear someone address a topic that interests me. I might share his sermon on Facebook—my friends will feel very challenged and convicted. Lol. Anyway, I will remain suspicious until I can visit Church-God in person, but I’m feeling optimistic.
A Few Weeks Later …
Well, I’ve been attending Church-God services for a few weeks now. So far I’m very impressed. The praise and worship sometimes goes on a little longer than I prefer, but other than that, everything is almost perfect. The people there are really nice and the pastor’s sermons are usually spot-on. (I bet some people were feeling very convicted a week ago when he talked about those topics that I’m particularly passionate about.)
You know, I really have a sense of spiritual fulfillment in Church-God. I’ve never felt closer to God since I’ve known Church-God. I know it might seem too soon, but I’m already considering ways that I can volunteer to serve—that is, as long as it’s something where I can truly feel affirmed and admired for my many gifts and talents (not Children’s Ministry LOL).
A Few Months Later …
I’ve been very disappointed in Church-God lately. I wrote a letter letting Church-God leadership know that they need to start having shorter praise and worship during the service, but nothing has changed. The praise and worship is still too long. I get bored waiting for it to end. Not only that, but the pastor’s sermons haven’t been addressing topics that I find particularly relevant. Oh, and one week I could have sworn that he was directly speaking to me when he addressed a certain issue. How judgmental of him! Go back to what you’re good at, Pastor!
Furthermore, Church-God leadership wouldn’t give me permission to use my gifts and talents to serve in the certain special way I envisioned. What the heck! They are holding me back from using my gifts to serve God! I can’t serve God outside of Church-God! I am not happy about this.
One Week Later …
This is ridiculous! I can’t believe I got scheduled to help out in Children’s Ministry! I hate Children’s Ministry. It’s not my calling. My calling is to use my gifts and talents in the special way I want to use them for Church-God, but Church-God leadership won’t let me do it. Not to mention that the praise and worship went way too long again this week. And what was up with the song selection? Not impressed. Oh, and what was the pastor even talking about this week? Something to do with how this life isn’t about us but rather about serving God in every circumstance and not just at church? Boring.
This has been coming for a long time, but I think it’s time for me to find another Church-God.
There are two major problems that I see as I observe American Christianity. First of all, the “prosperity gospel.” So many people have this mistaken belief that God is our servant. His purpose is to make sure we are happy and comfortable in this life. Everything is about us—our feelings, expectations, and goals. Indeed, the prosperity gospel is a false gospel. This life is not about us. This life is about knowing God and bringing Him glory in every circumstance.
Secondly, we compartmentalize spirituality to such a degree that we often limit it to church. We look to the church as our source of fulfillment and only connection to God. We often mistakenly believe that our gifts and talents in ministry can be used only within the framework of a church building or service or church-sponsored event. And if it doesn’t work out the way we want, we accuse the church of holding us back from serving God with our gifts. This is idolatry. Church services were never intended to fulfill us spiritually. If you are looking to a church service as your source of spiritual fulfillment, you won’t be fulfilled. It’s as simple as that. Church services are meant merely to supplement spiritual life. Church is important, but it’s only a part of worship. Believers should be serving God every day, all day, all the time.
If God has given you gifts and talents to use for His glory, you are the only person holding yourself back. Serving God does not depend on a church service or church-sponsored event. We need to get out of that mindset. Why? Because I’m tired of people being held back! We must release ourselves to serve God for His glory!
I hope this silly short story and article ministers to you and that it wasn’t too offensive. My goal was to help people gain a little perspective. We weren’t put here to worship Church-God. Church services are a valuable tool to connect with God and other believers and bring God glory. We should support our local churches. But we can’t make the church service something that it isn’t. Indeed, in my mind, that actually disrespects the function and purpose of a church service. We must instead look to God as our true source of fulfillment and belonging and serve Him in every circumstance—including at church.