What does consumerism look like in a church? One example might be a church member who comes to Swift Creek for Awana – but they worship someplace else on Sunday. Maybe they attend Connect Group at Swift Creek and then go to worship service someplace else; or picking and choosing ministry events at Swift Creek with no intention of leaving their “other” church.
I fear they do not understand how the body of Christ is supposed to function.
As members of the church, we are all members of one body. (See the passage from I Corinthians below.) How can we be a part of two different bodies at the same time? How can the body of Christ be unified when its “members” are divided between different bodies?
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. I Corinthians 12:14- 20
I think every person who walks through the doors of Swift Creek understands that we are not a perfect church. In fact, there is no perfect church because every church is filled with imperfect people. But when we shop for and mix and match the “best” from multiple churches to create our ideal church experience we are harming all the churches involved. The foot cannot be a foot at Swift Creek and a hand Parkway. You cannot be an eye at Swift Creek and an ear at the Chapel.
I Corinthians 12:18 teaches us that God is the one who arranges the members of the body as He chooses. Jesus says in Matthew 16:18 that He will build His church. It is my firm belief that Jesus wants each “member” to be totally committed to the local body that they have been placed into. I just can’t see how you can be totally committed when you attend different churches for different ministries.
Maybe as a pastor I see this differently? All I know is I want to see every person that comes to Swift Creek totally devoted to making our church the brightest light for Christ we can be in our community. How can we be totally devoted to the task and to each other when our time, talent and treasures are divided amongst different bodies?