Is church a cafeteria

How many of you eat at K&W. Have you ever heard it called kanes and walkers. What does this mean. It is referring to how many sr's like to eat at K&W. In a recent article from Thomas Rainer. Rainer asked is your church like a cafeteria. I will share what he thought and add why GBC is not a cafeteria.

In a cafeteria, you pay for your preferences. In a church, you should give abundantly and joyfully without expecting anything in return. If you ever hear someone say, “We pay the bills in this church,” you know they act like the church is a cafeteria. I can honestly say that in my five years I have not heard any comments on this scale. We may be small but the partners at GBC give generously and beyond to just giving to the church.

In a cafeteria, the focus is on you. In a church, the focus should be on God first and then others. If you ever hear someone say, “I’m not getting fed in this church,” you know they act like the church is a cafeteria. This is still a work in progress because I think most churches struggle in this area. I have seen God draw more people closer to Him than when I arrived five years ago.

In a cafeteria, you demand to have things your way. In a church, you should sacrifice your own needs for others. If you ever hear someone say, “I want the order of service to be like it’s always been,” you know they act like the church is a cafeteria. It seems this area would be an area of comfort. For instance, some people got to a cafeteria and order the same thing every time. There is lots of other variety but it is just easier to go with what you know. I have noticed that some who were reluctant to new songs change their mind after hearing the song several times. They noticed it was not about the style but how the words focused on glorying God.

In a cafeteria, the business must continue to make things more appealing and attractive for you to return. In a church, you should not expect to be entertained to get you to come back. If you ever hear someone say, “I’m going to a church where the music is more exciting,” you know they act like the church is a cafeteria. In order to do this, GBC has graciously supported this effort. It does however come with a cost. The cost can be measured in numbers but GBC is not as much concerned with numbers as it is with spiritual growth.

In a cafeteria, if the customer does not get his or her way, the business must

make every effort to address and remedy his or her complaint. In a church, we should be so busy doing for others and serving Christ that we don’t have time or the desire to whine or complain. If you ever hear someone say, “People are saying . . .”, you know they act like the church is a cafeteria. It is never "people are saying" it is the person telling you people are saying that has the issue. Instead of trying to fix it, I begin by listening.

In a cafeteria, you have a full staff serving you behind the glass partitions, indulging your every desire. In a church, you should not expect the staff to do all or most of the ministry or service; instead, the members are to do the work of ministry. If you ever hear someone saying, “Pastor, you should . . .”, you know they act like the church is a cafeteria. We are conting to grow in this area at GBC. This begins with me as a Pastor. God has called me to eqip the saints so that we can all participate in His kingdom. This may not appease everyone but we must do what God tells us to do.

In a cafeteria, you will likely complain to others in person or on social media if you are not fully satisfied. In a church, you should not have a gossiping or complaining spirit; instead, you should be building others up. If you ever see someone complain about their church on social media, you know they act like the church is a cafeteria. I do not think GBC has a social media problem; most of our members are not on social media. Ther will always be those who talk but I try to encourage GBC to go to the person rather than to others.

When I go out to eat at K&W, I expect my food to be great and get service. When I go to church, my expectations are different. Why. At GBC we are real people who have real problems. We meet in a real place where God can provide real change. In short, we are imperfect people who worship a perfect God. You can move to a different restaurant but please do not move from your church because there is no prefect church. God may have you right where God wants you because God knows YOU. God may have called to be the one who helps solve the problems in a church but you can never do that if you leave when the going gets tough. Thanks for reading. See you next week. Rev. Eddie

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