Core Statement: We are not spiritual consumers; we are spiritual contributors. The church does not exist for us. We are the church, and we exist for the world.
It is clear that in every church we have two types of people who attend; the consumers and the contributors.The obvious question is what exactly do you mean by that. In the next few paragraphs, I will try to explain the difference between the church consumer and the church contributor.
If I approach church as a a consumer, I view interacting with others as a necessary evil, or an inconvenient necessity. I don’t usually hang around when the service ends, or if I do, it is because I saw someone in my small circle of friends I am uncomfortable with, or Northstar groups because they involve participation, scrutiny and close personal contact.
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 welcome the accountability and scrutiny that comes from close contact with members of my Northstar group, and I seek to be an active participant in one, praying for and pastoring others.
When I approach church as a consumer, I attend, but I don’t commit. I prefer the fringe to the core. I prefer to spectate rather than participate. I pick and choose the meetings I attend. I cannot be relied upon to show up. I just don’t have the time to volunteer, take on responsibility or contribute to church life.
If I approach church as a contributor, 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 therefore give sacrificially of my time, energy and money.
If I approach church as a consumer, I would like to be ministered to. I expect to be served.
If I approach church as a contributor, I show up at church on Sunday expecting to minister to others. I recognize that I have a responsibility to care for others and so I am proactive in watching for opportunities to minister to other people.
Zig Ziglar said that nothing great happens until someone sells something. I believe that nothing great happens until someone serves. That is certainly true of Northstar. We want to part of something that makes a difference.
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 and attend infrequently at best. They act more like like spectators than members. Think of that for a moment.
Ask yourself which group do you fall into. The fact is, we need more spiritual contributors. Why? Because 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. God calls you to serve as His church. Not only do we serve in His church, you serve as if His church is the world.
Our vision is that Northstar will be a group of people where each member is a minister and each home an extension of the church in order to win over our generation for Christ. Where we are not spiritual consumers, but contributors.
1. Would you fall into the consumer or in the contributor camp? What caused to you being in either one?
2. Who are some spiritual contributors you notice? What makes them stand out?
3. Serving, teaching, encouragement, giving, leadership, kindness, prophecy — which gifts has God given you?
4. Share how you have been served and loved by our church. How will you match or surpass what you’re receiving?
5. Pray and ask God for wisdom on where you can best make contributions to the church.