What Can This Church Do For Me

Which of the following questions do we find ourselves asking most frequently?
What can this church do for me?
What can I do for this church?

Consider Paul and Silas. What high-powered, high-profile, dynamic, positive thinker was in that Philippian jail with them in Acts sixteen motivating them to sing and pray, and presenting them with an autographed copy of What Prison Life in Philippi Can Do For You? Nobody was there, except for a Roman soldier on the brink of faith.

The motivation of Paul and Silas, their faith, their missionary efforts, their Christian lives, were based on no man, but on Jesus! It was their personal relationship with Him that fueled their fire. He was what they needed in order to live a triumphant, productive life. How about us?
Those of us who spend so much of our time asking, What can this church do for me, have a basic problem that seems to be twofold.

We are addicted to entertainment. The prevailing attitude of many is: If it's not going to entertain me, then don't bother me with it. We are captivated and spoiled by movies, television, even commercials, whose budgets run into the millions. We expect the presentation of the gospel and the life of the church to be just as sensationalized.

We are prone to selfishness. Selfishness is Satan's crown jewel. If he can lure us with it, he can sever us from the heart of Jesus. The attitude of What can this church do for me is primarily rooted in selfishness. Selfishness removed Lucifer from the company of angels, it drove mankind out of the Garden of Eden. We must beware of it and remember that Jesus commanded us to deny ourselves, and indeed die to self, Our Lord came not to be served (or entertained), but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.

Consider Titus. He lands on Crete, and first things first he secures a condo on the waterfront and the newest speedboat on the market, so he can move easily from one port to another. Sunday morning comes and he shows up fifteen minutes late, without his Bible. He asks at the door, Who teaches the most entertaining class in this church? He then enters the classroom and finds the title of this morning's study on the blackboard, you guessed it: What Can This Church Do For Me?

That's not the Titus I read about. He was a courageous young Christian servant whose faith led him to minister to a struggling church on an evil island, Titus would have been appalled at the very notion of being entertained by the church!
Some of us have tried to make Christianity as comfortable and relaxing as an afternoon nap. Those who live this life do not become more faithful when they periodically read the Scriptures. They only become more miserable!
Let us reassess our calling and our decision to follow Jesus. Then, if we desire discipleship, let us fall in behind Him, serving, loving, dreaming, and reaching out to others. Let us enter the battle and exhibit active leadership for God's team - the church.

Let us no longer ask What can this church do for me?, rather, let us ask What can I do for this church?

-Hal D. Blackburn