The Consumer Mentality

A few years back a young family was visiting our church on a Sunday morning.  I was pleasantly surprised to see who it was.  I was very excited that they had stopped by to check out the church.  After the service I made my way to them with the intention of making contact with them and letting them know how excited I was to see them.  This person had very good connections within the school system and I could see some amazing things happening through this family.  As I talked with them more, the husband said to me, “Yeah, we’re just church shopping.”  I think I saw them maybe once more after that.  Our church just didn’t have the right product for them.

Consider our consumer mindset coupled with our entitlement mindset.  We are a culture that wants everything, as soon as it comes out all while we think that we are entitled to it.  Unfortunately, this consumer mentality comes with the “consumer” into the church.  When I drive a main road through Springfield, I can see many choices for where my money can be well spent.  All these businesses pay big bucks to advertise and tell me something I need, even though for nearly 30 years I have survived without it.  Now all of a sudden, for $300 (or whatever) my life will be completely different if I buy their product.  Then another company tells me I can get the same thing for $290 at their company, all feeding the consumer mentality.  If I can’t find what I need at Dick’s Sports, I can visit the Sports Authority.  Not there either?  I can hit Target.  They have everything.

My point is, many people aren’t searching for a church home to find a place where they can best be plugged in and help serve.  They aren’t even necessarily looking for a church home that teaches Scripture.  They are looking for a place that will serve them and provides for all of their needs.  If they can find that place, well then they can just sit back comfortably in the pew and have their feet washed without the fear of ever having to carry a cross.  This brings up the question in my mind; what is the #1 thing you look for in a church home?

Is it tangible or intangible?  Can you smell, touch or feel it?  Are you shopping for a church with people just like you so that you can fit in comfortably?  Is it the church with the most ministry opportunities so you can be served more?  Is it a church with a vibrant children’s ministry, powerful worship music, emotional speaking and teaching?  What are you shopping for in a church?  And better yet, what will you do when the church takes that product away and replaces it with another?  So, what are you shopping for?  What’s the #1 thing that will establish you in a church home?

Looking forward to reading your thoughts and comments on this one.


About Stan Rodda

Follower. Husband. Father. Shepherd. Apostle. Husker.

Posted on April 17, 2009, in polls, the culture. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. A little too much pressure with this one to have to do it right. Not feeling a lot of freedom. Some good points though. Just to many well thought out ideas, and not enough heart. Just my opinion. I liked the coffeehouse one a lot though!

  2. So I think I hear what Chase is saying….he’s saying that he couldn’t choose from these specifics you’ve given because he would use less head, more heart when choosing a church.
    But if I am correct, I think you were just throwing those out as options, not asking us to choose one specific item from that list. Am I right?

  3. It’s worse in Springfield! What is the product that you are offering the church shopper?

  4. It’s sad to me that so few people care if there is truth being taught. The superficials are all that matter, rather than finding out what God is really all about. It’s indicative of the shallow state of our society.

  5. It always strikes me as odd that we put so much importance on “which church” someone attends. I have never been a fan of the congregational mindset of “ours is better than theirs”… There is only one Church. As long as the “shopper” is seeking to follow Christ in community with other believers then I would say to go wherever you feel most comfortable. If you like the music better down the street, go down the street, if you prefer the preaching over there, go over there. If it’s a Jesus-centered congregation with Biblical leadership and teaching, the location doesn’t matter. Personally, if I were “church shopping” I would look for obvious change in the lives of the congregation. Are people coming to know Christ? Are they repenting from their sins? Are they preaching the gospel to one another? Is there fruit? Evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit among the people? Do they really care that their neighbors are dying without Jesus? The Church is meant to be dynamic! Thats the kind of congregation I would want to be part of!

  6. great blog man, keep up these good posts!

    • culturalawakening

      Hey, thanks Nate. I appreciate that. I’ll try to keep them up if you keep coming back and checking them out. 😀 ha ha

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