I recently saw a fortune-telling booth which had a sign on the side saying "for entertainment purposes only" which made me start thinking about whether that's how we tend to treat church. When we think entertainment we might think of some dazzling sort of show, but this scruffy fortune telling booth certainly wasn't that, and neither are most churches. The sort of entertainment people get from this fortune teller is a positive feeling, something to look forward to, confirmation that they're doing the right thing, motivation, a sense that they are in touch with their "spiritual side". These are exactly the same things that people are looking for when they attend church every Sunday and probably the reasons why most churches are ineffective!
If we attend church for entertainment purposes only, then:
- we might give some money towards it but there will be no sacrificial giving
- we might enjoy sharing the experience with others, but we wont want to serve and love them when it's difficult
- we will enjoy hearing about God's love but not our sin
- we will attend events but not be committed, especially if something better comes up
- we will listen when others say something nice to us but ignore correction
Visiting the fortune teller is a waste of time. So is attending church for entertainment purposes. Go to church this Sunday, not because it will make you feel a bit better (although it might!) but because others need your love and support as they follow Jesus, and you need their love and support as you follow Jesus