“Whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17 (NASB)
Buffets are not new, but they definitely fit into the consumer-focused cultural reality of our day! Before restaurant buffets became popular, ‘all-you-can-eat’ meals were called a smorgasbord. These have become the norm for cruise ships, and some restaurants now only serve buffet style! All you can eat, more choices than are necessary, new types of tasty delights, as well as the trustworthy favorites. People approach the vast array of culinary options in many different ways. Some only take what they would normally order at a restaurant. Others see it as an opportunity to taste everything so they load up their plates, later regretting having consumed too much. Others see it as an opportunity to try something new and find things they like and dislike. Some make sure they get all they can for their money!
But smorgasbords are found in other places besides just food. People shop for churches the same way they shop anything else. They look for what is best for them. They shop for the best kids’ program, the best worship, and/or the best student ministry in town. The problem is, churches are not meant to be about us, or what we want and can get out of it. We are a part of the church, and the church we go to is meant to be the place we serve, give and grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. It was never about convenience or the “best” services. It’s about being a family who worships, prays and loves together. Church services are not meant to make us comfortable and happy, but holy and filled with purpose and destiny for the Kingdom of God. The church is meant to be counter cultural, not just a clean model of the world. The church is not a place for self-help, but of self-denial. Let me just conclude that the local church should strive for excellence, but in our efforts, we are not to compromise or define ourselves by the world. We are to glorify God in all we do (Colossians 3:17)!
Ask the Lord to redefine what church is all about for you. Ask Him if you are at the right church for the right reasons. Ask Him to break off of you any and every consumer mentality that you have brought into your church choice. Ask Him to grant you the grace to become an active part in your church, not just a consuming spectator!