Have you ever heard someone grumble about church by saying, “I’m just not being fed”? Perhaps you’ve even said it; I have. However, we’re not talking about physical food, but spiritual sustenance. When we say this, we sound so righteous, but what we’re really doing is complaining that church doesn’t give us what we want.
We too often look at church through the eyes of the modern consumer, demanding church will meet our needs, to give us something in return for our investment of time and money. But when church fails to meet our expectations, our first impulse is to act like a shopper and take our business elsewhere.
However, the main purpose of church isn’t for us to receive what we want; it’s for us to give. We give God what he desires, and we give people what they need. Our goal at church should be to worship God and to serve others. It’s countercultural today, but it’s what Jesus modeled for us two thousand years ago.
Yes, sometimes we are hurting, and sometimes we are in need. Then we should go to church to rest and to receive. But our normal, prevailing attitude at church – and everywhere else, for that matter – should be one of giving.
After all, it is better to give than receive. So don’t go to church to get something out of it but with the intent to give something to it: worship God and serve others.