Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Church Cannot Compete With the World

It has become increasingly popular in churches to model their guest services and children’s ministry environments after places like Disney World, Chucky Cheese, or theme parks. After all, these places are a magnet for kids and are very successful.

I’ll admit that church leaders can learn a lot from these kinds of places. But I want to PUSH BACK against the notion that we have to look like Nickelodeon or spend money like Disney to reach kids. The fact of the matter is that no church can compete with the world on that level; the world has more money, more resources, and more bells & whistles than the church will ever have. Nor should we try. This isn’t an excuse to be lazy or lame – it’s just reality.

However, there IS one area where we can always do a better job than the world in reaching people, especially children and students:


A vicarious relationship with Hannah Montana or a cool set of strobe lights will never impact a child’s life the way that a COMMITTED CARING SMALL GROUP LEADER will. Funny YouTube videos or even Christian concerts may get kids talking for a day or two, but life change happens because a CARING ADULT IS INVOLVED in their lives. Even when it comes to guest services on Sunday morning – we can give away coffee mugs and Starbucks gift cards to first time guests to the point of breaking the budget, but apart from THE GOSPEL and establishing MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS with people, they will only be impressed but not changed.

This is why we must always keep the main thing the main thing. We want to see lives changed. We want to take people who are far from God and turn them into fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Yes, we should open the doors with a smile, serve coffee generously, and program well. But let’s not leave God out of the equation, and let’s get directly involved in people’s lives.

No comments: