I was listening to a sermon and the pastor was talking about the church’s upcoming Vacation Bible School this summer. The pastor said someone had been planning it for some time, but added “We need help!” The pastor is right to go to the congregation for help with their VBS.
As usual, it made me think about something else. Too many times church people have the wrong motives when they think about why people need to be in church or why they need to come to ‘our church’. Sometimes older people want younger people to come to church so the younger people can start taking over some of the church jobs the older people have run out of energy to do. We need help! Sometimes church people want others to come to church to help pay the bills. We need help! Sometimes people want others to come to church so they see a bigger number on that wooden thing that tells how many people were in church last week. (Most of you know what wooden thing I’m talking about.) Those aren’t good reasons to get people to come to church.
I pray that new people who go to church don’t find a bunch of people who need help keeping their church doors open, paying the bills, or doing church tasks. That’s the best way to assure that new people won’t be back. Who wants to go to that kind of church? I want new people in church so they find salvation. I want new people in church so they find forgiveness. I pray they find grace. I pray they find God’s Word. I pray they find the conviction (not from us, but from God) that leads to repentance.
It is right to want people in church. But we have to ask ourselves why we want them there. Do we want them there even if they can’t help us pay the bills and do the chores? Do we want them there even if they disagree with us? If the honest answer to those questions are no, then it is obvious why we want them in church. And it’s not the right reason.