“Church attendance is as vital to a disciple as a transfusion of rich, healthy blood to a sick man.” – Dwight L. Moody
It is clear that in every church we have two types of people who attend; the consumers and the contributors. In essence, it is the difference of sitting on the sidelines instead of taking a step of faith and getting involved.
If I approach church as a contributor, I come to church expecting to be part of a community. While at times I find it challenging, I count it a privilege to be part of a fellowship of diverse people with whom I can share my life. I commit myself to the community and this shows by my attendance and servant’s mentality. I embrace my calling to be a partner and co-worker with others for the gospel and I do whatever I can to support church initiatives. I give sacrificially of my time, energy, and money.
When I approach church as a consumer, I attend, but I don’t commit. I prefer to be on the fringe rather than a member of the core. I just don’t have the time to volunteer, take on responsibility or contribute to the church. If I approach church as a consumer, I am content to attend each week and enjoy worship and hearing God’s word.
The Bible doesn’t give some of us a hall pass and say we’ve been excused from serving because we aren’t gifted. Everyone has gifts. There are no exceptions. 1 Peter 4 teaches us, “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ…” (1 Peter 4:10-11).
We were made for a purpose and have a God-given gift that we need to be pouring into the kingdom. As believers and followers of Jesus, we are all called to be participants in God’s kingdom right here and now. Usually, when we don’t serve the kingdom it’s not because we believe we aren’t gifted, it’s because we’ve got so many things going on we don’t have time to get actively involved in the church.
There is a principle in business that 20 percent of your customers give you 80 percent of your revenue and profits. A recent survey shows that the 80/20 principle is a fact of church life as well. Only 20 percent are heavily involved, while 80 percent are minimally involved.
The church does not exist for us. It exists to reach people with the saving message of Jesus Christ wherever in the world they live. The church is people using gifts to make a difference in the lives of others.
- Would you fall into the consumer or the contributor camp? What caused to you be in either one?
- Serving, teaching, encouragement, giving, leadership, kindness, prophecy — which gifts has God given you?
- Pray and ask God for wisdom on where you can best make contributions to the church.