Friday, January 2, 2015

Feeding Myself at Church

Oh, my.

Have you ever read or heard something that so perfectly nailed the unworded sentiments of your heart that you were taken aback for a little bit?

That just happened.

I just read a blog post by a woman I've never heard of named Kate Conner. She's writing about why she's always hated women's ministry. Now mind you, I don't know that I've ever hated women's ministry. That's not where she nailed it. This is:

"I was tired of looking at myself through a Jesus lens. I just wanted to look at Jesus."

Bingo. Nothing but net there.

This is what bugs me about many "worship" songs out there. (Not all of them, but many.)

This is what has bugged me about many of the worship services we visited in the last year. (Not all of them, but many.)

This is what has bugged me about much of the seeker-focused movement in the church over the last couple decades or so. (Not all of it, but much of it.)

It focuses on the seeker. On the worshipper. On me.

A wise and discerning friend in New Jersey once remarked that the church needs to be very careful that we don't try to attract the unbeliever by offering him his own idol of choice -- whether that be materialism, prestige, comfort, pleasure, power, or the grandest of all modern-day idols, Self.

Conner says, "If you're OVER hearing how to be a better person and you wonder what's wrong with you because hearing that 'you are a child of God' doesn't really move or impress you very much - you're not alone. I was there too. I suspect that we are all just starving for The Main Thing."

Starving! Famished! There are churches where I come away from a service feeling like I did over much of our holiday vacation this year -- stuffed to the gills with junk food and sweets to where I can't eat another bite, but still hungry because there was nothing nutritious there to sustain me for the long run.

I think I've given up finding a church where this just happens. I've decided it's not the church's fault anymore. It's mine. The reality is that McDonald's has salads on their menu if I choose to order one . . . and most churches preach Jesus if I choose to look for Him. 

"If you think you don't like women's ministry, or church or whatever, maybe you're just tired of looking at yourself," Conner says.

Yep. Nailed it.

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