May 29, 2010

Walmart and Church - The Saving Place

I like Walmart prices but I don't like the Walmart chaos.

It always seems so crowded, so busy, so chaotic.

  • There's people and stuff everywhere. 
  • The parking lot is littered with carts, cars, and people. 
  • The check out lines are at least five people deep no matter how many lines are open.
I go to Walmart at several times a month because all my prescriptions are there, and because Walmart is nationwide, I can go to any Walmart and have my prescriptions filled. That's awesome. That's so convenient. And plus, it really is the saving place.

But, every time I go I find the shopping experience so unpleasant.

The reason why I'm whining about Walmart is because I am wondering what people would say about their experience with the church on a typical Sunday. 

For those who go to church, is it a place where they truly desire to be or is it a place they go because of habit, because that's what they've always done?

For those who don't go to church, for those who are hanging out at Starbucks on Sunday, or chilling at the house, or taking their kiddos to the soccer games or, would the church be a place that would be of the slightest interest to them?

I am convinced that the church has to do a better job of becoming a place where people would actually want to be. But here are some questions rattling around my head about all this:
  • What is the main purpose of the gathering on Sundays?
  • Can one glorify God and be a place that is fun to be?
  • Can a church both worship God and have that worship be awesome?
  • Should the church do what it can to cater to the needs of the visitors? members? 
  • At what point does the church begin to lose its very identity when trying to accommodate visitors?
  • Entertaining vs. informing
  • Can one be entertaining and informing?
Walmart can get away with the chaos, the long lines, shopping carts strewn around the parking lot, etc. because it normally is a place where a person can save money. So people go.

However, the church is an entirely voluntary place. Not only that, it is a place where people have to be quite intentional about going.

If we are going to grow and make a difference in the community, if we are going to have the opportunity to be heard so that the good news of Jesus Christ can be heard and understood and received by the people in our communities, we have to get better at being the type of place where people would want to be.

If the church is ever going to be the saving place again, it first has to be a place where people want to be.

Lots to think about...


teacher_deb said...

Hey James.. interesting comment for you..
Mr. B had lunch at Rotary with someone from our congregation, I don't know who...anyway..Alan was talking about our up coming mission trip and the comment he got back was" Oh.. we're all too old for missions at the church"..... Alan says "I hope I am never too old for Missions" Oh Wow!! We have lots to think about and to get going on at LCOP...

James said...

I think we have to help people think about mission as a way of life rather than thinking that mission is only about going to far away places. Being a missionary has very little to do location and everything to do with how we represent Jesus wherever we are.

Thanks for reading and thanks for the comment.

teacher_deb said...

Yes indeed! I think of my work place (my school) as my mission field. I try to do everything I can to be a positive light and a healing to hurting kids and families. Alan tries to do the same in the lives of the kids he's with in scouts! We both say AMEN!!