When I’m a consumer, I want great customer service.
Whether online or in real life, I want products and services that meet my needs in the best, quickest, friendliest manner possible.
But I don’t want that from church.
Sure, I’d rather experience a church service with passionate worship, strong teaching and friendly people than one with passionless praise, shallow teaching and a sour attitude.
But church is not about great customer service.
A great church experience should be about relationships.
- With Jesus
- With people who love Jesus
- With people who love each other
- With people who are trying to love Jesus
- With people who are trying to love each other
I want to worship Jesus with people who make mistakes, have issues, hurt my feelings, and get it wrong almost as often as they get it right, but who keep getting up after they fall down.
People who will walk together in grace and forgiveness.
The Relationship Factor
I can get excellent customer service from strangers.
When I go to church, I need more than a perfectly choreographed exchange of goods and services. It can’t just be money in the offering in payment for a finely-honed religious performance.
I need a church that’s messier than retail. Not the messiness that comes from laziness or lack of passion, but the messiness that comes from real relationships.
I need a church where people care enough about each other to get our feelings hurt when something goes wrong – then walk through the tough work of repentance, restoration and reconciliation to make it right again.
I don’t want to worship in a church that tells me how awesome I am. I need to worship in a church that reminds me how awesome Jesus is. A church filled with broken people finding healing. Hurting people finding wholeness. Sinful people finding forgiveness.
While consumer-based excellence is great in a retail setting, it falls short of what we need in our families, friendships and churches.
When we gather as the church, pastors are not employees serving customers, and church members are not consumers paying for goods and services.
We are supposed to be brothers and sisters.
Messy. Loving. Caring. Faulty. Imperfect.
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