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  • Writer's pictureLori Jacumin

Without Need, Want Prevails

Updated: 4 days ago

The megachurch culture as we know it today was ushered in during the church growth movement of the 80’s and 90’s. As the American mindset “the bigger, the better” began to permeate the church, the focus for many church leaders and members shifted to numbers, building projects and trendy ways to reach the unchurched and keep the masses coming back week after week.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, the local church was made a pawn in the contest of earthly competition. Pride in man’s achievements for God was put on stage for all to see and paraded before young ministers as an example of what to aspire to, raising the bar for the next generation of church leaders — as if being a pastor wasn’t challenging enough already.

Some of these young pastors’ introduction to church ministry was weighted down by the burden of keeping the “bigger and better” facilities filled and budgets met. Some ministry evaluations today are still based on numbers alone. As I’ve heard it phrased, “It became all about nickels, noses and nails.”

As this new generation of church leaders and church members grappled with new ways to bring people in or keep people from going to the newer, trendier church down the road, an incredibly significant shift took place from people needing the local church to the local church needing people.

As Christ followers, we know that Jesus is our ultimate example to follow - and Jesus was never about the numbers or the show. He never felt the pressure or need to keep everyone happy so they’d come back to hear Him preach again and drop their offering in the basket if they felt satisfied by His performance. Despite the continual need and controversy around Him, Jesus stayed focused on accomplishing His Father’s will.

The local church was never intended to be everything to everyone.

That was never its purpose.

Our pastors were never intended to be everything to everyone.

That was never their purpose.

God is fully aware that when all of our needs are taken care of, we humans tend to forget that we need Him at all - and when that happens, it’s so very easy to believe we have the right to choose our way over His. Even in His sanctuary.

What many churches and church members now struggle with is that without need, want prevails. To put it as simply as possible, so many churches have done everything they can to cater to the people that we’ve become spoiled. Church hopping has become accepted and far too many who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ make the decision to attend church based on whether they feel they will get anything out of the experience.

God help us.

If we enter a worship service for any reason other than worshipping God, we are there for the wrong reason. If we sit through a worship service and all we can do is think about what we like or don’t like, we are there for the wrong reason. In fact, when our worship hinges on the man and not the message, the music, the building, those sitting around us or our personal preferences, we are not only hindering what God desires to do in and through our lives personally, we can become a hindrance to others and our pastors with our man centered worship, ungodly attitudes, complaints and criticism.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:37-39 that the greatest command is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind… and the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself” — to love Him and one another.

I admit that I have been guilty of all of the above at times in my own life, but I have found that when my focus is on loving God and others, it doesn’t matter if there’s a choir or praise team during the worship service, how many people are in the sanctuary, how big the building is or if I was offered a hot beverage upon entry - because the simple truth is, it’s really not about you and I at all. It’s about Jesus

and worshipping Him, unhindered.


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