No, it isn’t about you.
(This blog is based on an article by Joe McKeever)
“What’s in it for us?” is the prevailing principle of decision-making for too many churchgoers — and non-churchgoers — alike. The question is self-seeking, self-serving. And we wonder why so many congregations are stagnated, plateaued, or declining. We also wonder why we many log in countless hours in the pews or in our committee meeting and still feel unfulfilled. We wonder why churches run off pastors who are not meeting their needs, not leaving them with warm feelings after sermons, and not making them feel better about themselves. Maybe you’ve overheard this, or have even prayed this in a worship service, “Lord, help me get something out of this today.”
Pastor Warren Wiersbe has said, “It pays to worship. But if you worship because it pays, it won’t pay.” In other words, worship isn’t about you. It isn’t about your needs, your timeframe, your self-serving goals. Instead, worship is about giving to the Lord the glory due His name, about bringing an offering and bowing down before the Ruler of the universe and honoring Him.
Yes, God wants to bless His children. He said to Abraham, “I will bless you and make your name great, so you shall be a blessing (Genesis 12:2)”. At no time did the Lord tell Abraham to focus on getting that blessing, or to keep praying that His name would be great.
When we concentrate on being a blessing to others,God blesses us.
The mentality of our age is something else entirely. We have become modern-day consumers, asking over and over what worship can give us, rather than what we can give worship.
A forty-something who does not come to church but lives in the community said to me in the hallway after a dinner, “You know, I get church elsewhere. I don’t need this place to get God.”
But here’s the thing. Others need you in church. They need to worship with you and love on you. They rejoice in your company. Oh, we are not a perfect church. Someone may roll their eyes at a squiggly toddler in your arms, but when they do that they are seeking their own needs, not the needs of others—like the little kiddo and you, the parents.
Church grows first with you in the pew. Stop self-seeking and start serving others. It isn’t about you. It is about others. At its core, Christianity is about what you do for others, not what you seek for yourself.