Are We Committed or Consumers?

Are We Committed or Consumers?

            I am amazed at how many businesses now crave our responses to surveys.  Grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, you name it- all want to know how we liked our stay or what services we found beneficial.  They offer incentives to respond.  I can only assume businesses are taking this information in order to be able to appeal more and more to their customers.  After all, the customer is always right- as the saying goes.

            We are a consumerist culture.  We are inundated with that mindset.  We live and breathe it.  We are like a fish being asked to explain what water is.  A fish would have a hard time doing so as they can’t exist apart from it.

            If we don’t like a product, service, or store we simply take our business elsewhere.  That’s the world we live in.  Living here in the United States, we are blessed with multiple options for just about everything.  That fuels our consumer driven economy and attendant worldview.

            I bring this up because that kind of thinking can creep into our view of the church.  I’m convinced it’s often a cultural blind spot for Christians.  People may look at churches as service providers or as venues to cater to their personal tastes.  If one church doesn’t fully meet expectations, there are several others from which to choose.

            What’s the problem? A church is more aligned with being a family than with being a provider of “religious services.”  We take vows to support the church and are to see ourselves as part of a body.  We need to see our need of the church and need to have a ministry as much to be ministered to.  This is not to say that there are legitimate reasons to leave churches- there certainly are. When a church departs from the gospel and the authority of God’s Word, that’s a sure sign to leave the church.  But that’s not what I’m talking about

            When we see needs in the church or ministry that need doing, our first response should be “How can I help?” That’s what families do.  Families don’t splinter or look for another family they can try to join when there’s need- at least they shouldn’t.

            Our consumerist mindset may lead us to keep one foot out of the door of the church, ready to bolt at the first hint of lack.  This should not be the case.  Let’s pray that HLPC grows as a family and that the Lord frees us from the consumerist mindset deeply ingrained in our culture. Let’s be committed, not merely consumers.

Paul Bankson
pbankson@gmail.com

Paul was born and raised in Birmingham, AL and graduated from Auburn University in 1986 with a degree in Business Administration. It was at Auburn that he met his wife, Connie. They were married in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and moved to Jackson, MS where he attended Reformed Theological Seminary graduating with a Master of Divinity in 1991. Upon graduation, Paul served as a Campus Minister with RUF, the campus ministry of the PCA, at Tennessee-Martin where the Banksons lived for 5 years. They moved to Macon, GA in 1996 to work with RUF at Mercer University and then Paul joined the pastoral staff at First Presbyterian Church of Macon as an Assistant Pastor in 1999. In 2004, Paul and his family moved to Warner Robins where he served as a church planter and then organizing Pastor of Houston Lake Presbyterian Church. In December 2014 Paul completed a Doctor of Ministry degree through Reformed Theological Seminary of Orlando. Paul and Connie have three sons, Andrew (23), Stephen (20), and Matthew (15). Paul enjoys grilling, camping with his family, and Auburn sports (War Eagle!).