Have you ever attended a church service and something just didn't feel quite right? Maybe everything that went on just seemed like a show? Like it was a performance in competition with the church down the street?
I know at times I have felt like God was not the one who the Worship leaders, Pastors, or performers was trying to please.
One of my teachers, Rick Rhoads, tells the story of two churches he was a part of. He keyed in on how differently they approached the Christmas season. At his first Church, every year was a big production that was greatly attended. However, Rick noticed something that concerned him, all the visitors seemed to be people that attended other churches in the area that simply wanted to be entertained. He also noticed that the faithful members who helped make the production happen were worn out and had hardly seen their families. He thought to himself what the point of this big ordeal even was. At his second church however, there was no Christmas eve service, no big decorations or music practices every night. Instead, the pastor told the congregation to spend the holiday season with their family. This also gave time for the small groups in the church to reach out to their community in some way. Rick's group adopted a cancer patient family. they cared for them, bought them presents and provided a great Christmas meal. As a result, they were able to see the whole family come to know Christ intimately and become faithful attenders of their church. That is what the great commission is all about, living Missionally. It truely is better to give than to receive.