Field Trip to Panera

February 11, 2008

panera.jpg

I’m sitting in Panera Bread, and asking myself whether or not I would ever come here if it were not for “Free Wireless WiFi”  I really don’t think so.  Maye on occasion if the Mrs. Decided she wanted some frothy drink with an expensive bowl of some tomato based soup, but otherwise, without this bad boy that allows my computer to connect with millions of others, not a chance.

I wonder if the same is true at church. (Rhetorical question, the same is true)  People all the time, when asked, give some pretty spiritual answers about why they go to a church.  Let’s see, “the Pastor always talks form the Bible.” or “I feel real close to God when I’m there”, or “God called me there.”  All of these are pretty good answers, and really exciting when taken at face value.

Now let’s look at the real reasons why 90% of Americans go to church.  Programs for the family.  The pastor has charisma (take your pick, the personality trait or the Spirit knocking him down).  The premises is clean.  Someone said hi to me at the door.  My kids like  the Awana thingy on Wednesday nights.

Of course none of these things are wrong.  What would I expect from a society that feeds off pleasing itself? And if I were to be honest, one problem is the church.  An institution that fed of power and control for thousands of years, and an obvious response to that would be to “be free,” like the teenager arriving at college for the freshman year or the 35 year old man, who’s recently left his family for “freedom”. 

Interesting concept, this freedom…

Anyways, churches (at least the outward perception of churches) should be to give people something they want.  It’s an inital attractor.  The trick is to move people past the “programs” of the church or the “feed me” mentality to produce real authentic committed followers of Christ.

How are you doing that?

Until next time…

p.s. coming this afternoon – Sunday Morning Recap

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