HCC Membership Track Podcast
Membership Track 3 - I will not let my Church be about my preferences and desires
  • Problem for most of us is we come to church with an American mindset – “church shopping”
  • looking for a church that fits “us”
  • Not a church that we can fit into and make a difference in
  • From the beginning it’s all about “us”
  • What if you let this be the moment you shift that thought to how can I let the church become about what God wants and is up to?
    • God is always up to trying to reach more people
    • Lost sheep
  • Jesus saw this over and over again with his dispcles
    • at one point they came to him wanting to know who got to sit shotgun with him in His kingdom
    • Jesus very clearly told them that His Kingdom would be different – “not so with you”
    • Being in the Kingdom was about serving – and giving your life away like Jesus did in love. 
    • Thom Rainer did a survey with churches that were inwardly focused and all about their own preferences, listen to the results
      1. Worship wars – people wanted worship that they liked, it had to be just the way they wanted it. 
      2. Prolonged minutia meetings – they spent lots of time going over insignificant details and not doing anything about the great commission to make disciples
      3. Facility focus – they were constantly worried about the facilities and making sure nothing would ever hurt them walls, carpet, furniture, etc.
      4. Program Driven – programs are a fine thing, but they are not the goal – people progressing towards Jesus is the goal, these churches hung onto programs that weren’t making any grounds towards that end
      5. Inwardly focused budget – most of their budget was spent on making members feel comfortable, not reaching the lost outside their doors
      6. Inordinate demands for pastoral care – everyone expected the pastor to be there for everything, and were disappointed when he wasn’t.  At Harmony, we believe YOU are the pastor on site, and have a church where our members constantly are pastoring and there for one another.  It’s usually a bad sign if I show up, cause it probably means things have gotten really bad
      7. Attitudes of entitlement – people demanding to have a sense of ‘special treatment’.  I worked in a church once where an elders son and a new kid got in a fight after youth group one night, they wanted me to not allow the new kid back to church with the elders kid not having any consequences.  We don’t favor people and are not entitled to anything – we actually beleive we owe a debt of love
      8. Greater concern about change than the gospel – these peopel were afraid of change, would choose to actively stop innitiatives that would have a chance of reaching lost people becuase it would require significant change.  We are the kind of church who says, “bring it on!”  We might say, “I’m not sure I like it, but I like being a part of a church that would try it”
      9. Anger and hostility – members get consistenly angry, express hostility in their words and action towards staff, leadership, and other members
      10. Evangelist apathy – very few people share their faith, more concerned about their own needs than the eternal impact they could have
    • What’s the major theme?  These churches are all about I. Me. Myself
    • Jesus offers a different way
      • Phil 2:5-11 “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature[a] God,    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;rather, he made himself nothing    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,    being made in human likeness.And being found in appearance as a man,    he humbled himself    by becoming obedient to death—        even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place    and gave him the name that is above every name,10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,    to the glory of God the Father.”