In yesterday's post I addressed the entitlement mindset that runs rampant in today's society. We also looked at how that same mindset impacts our churches in a negative way and prevents us from fulfilling our mission in the world. Today, I want to look at the mindset that should be seen in our churches.
We spend a lot of time focusing on church membership. Churches are concerned that people are not willing to join their churches as members. This is really the wrong thing to worry about.
Church membership is all about rights and privileges. If I am a member of the country club I can go there and play golf or use their pool or tennis courts. I can attend dinners and parties there because I am a member, and with membership comes privileges.
As a church member I am entitled to certain privileges. I may get free weddings for my children or a free funeral when I die. I can pick out the styles of music we'll have in our services and when those services will begin. I get to vote on things that happen in the church because I'm a member, and with membership comes privileges.
Is it not time to stop seeing ourselves a merely church members and begin to see ourselves as missionaries? Scripture teaches that the Holy Spirit has given gifts to every believer to be used in ministry, but many church members are not involved in any ministry that uses their gifts.
No matter how gifted your pastor is, he or she can only be in one place at one time doing one thing. What if your church had 50 people who saw themselves as ministers? Now, you would have 50 people in 50 places doing 50 things. Would you rather grow your church by addition (1+1) or by multiplication (50X1)? I am full agreement with the individual who said that our baptism was our ordination into ministry. It's time that every Christian develop a missionary mindset and abandon the entitlement mindset.
Along with that, we need to stop seeing our churches as merely churches and begin seeing them as mission stations that have been placed in the midst of a rapidly emerging pagan culture. Our society is rapidly growing worse as it abandons the biblical foundations upon which it was founded. The church has been called to be salt and light in the midst of darkness, and we now live in a very dark time that is only going to get darker. If we are going to ever have an impact on the 21st century we are going to have to become missional in our thinking, and that is going to be a much different mindset that many of our churches now have.
I believe God is now raising up an body of believers and churches that will have this missionary mindset. Those who want to continue in their entitlement thinking will fade away into insignificance until finally "Ichabod" is written above their door. Each of us can choose which mindset we will have.