Let’s face it, church shopping is a reality. You know, when people decide to check out a bunch of churches and choose their favorite one. Similar to our culture's approach to choosing religion - “religion al le carte” - choosing a church is akin to scanning a smorgasbord. We survey the options and then load up on our favorite dish, err, I mean church. In our world, choice is all we know:
…choice is not just a state of affairs, it is a state of mind. Choice has become a value in itself, even a priority. To be modern is to be addicted to choice and change. Change becomes the very essence of life...the increase in choice and change leads to a decrease in commitment and continuity (Os Guinness, The Gravedigger File).
As a result, we hear catch-phrases like “seeker-sensitive,” “church growth,” “attractional” and the like. Churches even compete with one another in a sort-of battle royale of church popularity (no one would ever all it that). If choice is what the world wants, churches are more than ready to provide it.
Enough ranting though. I realize this discussion can quickly turn into sour grapes (I am a pastor after all). That’s not my intent. I’m interested in another discussion. Is there a positive side to church shopping? Are there things we should be looking for in a church?
I think a question we should all be able to answer is this: Why are you in your current church? (or no church at all). Really, ask yourself, why?
I think that question is crucial. So I’m going to stop and let you ponder it.