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Have It Your Way?

My Burger King cup says:
Maybe you want a lot of ice. Maybe you want no ice. Maybe you want your top securely fastened, or maybe you want to go topless. Hmmmm? Maybe you want to mix COKE and SPRITE. Maybe you want to let your cup runneth over (we wish you wouldn't). Whatever you do, make sure to have things your way.
That pretty much sums up the American ethic.

It also reminds me of a conversation i had several years ago that significantly impacted the way i think about and do ministry.

A family was visiting our church. They were (as many do) "looking for a new church". Since they had teenagers, they were directed to me. Their first question was:

So, what kind of programs do you have?

That's not an uncommon question. In fact, it's the most asked question i received in the 10+ years i did youth ministry. Sadly, the question i never received was:

How will you help me disciple my child?

I would have even settled for:

How will you disciple my child?

It would have even been acceptable for someone to first ask:

What are you studying right now?

But i never received any of those questions. It seemed people (I should clarify that these would be people from other churches. New Christians almost never ask questions like these) came to church looking for programs that would fit their preferences, their desires, their style, their needs.

I hate that. (is hate too strong a word these days?)

I dislike that whenever we talk about what we should be doing as a church, we have to answer the question, "well what if someone comes here looking for _________?"

I dislike that whenever we think about church we think programs first.

I dislike that church is not that different than Burger King:

Whatever you do, make sure to have things your way.

I'm done ranting...

I really do love the church. There's a reason i'm still a pastor in a traditional one. I still have hope that we can truly be Christ's body on earth.

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