We live in a commercial age. A time where businesses continue to work hard to attract customers and everyone wants to be a success. Numbers are everything. Everyone wants to be the latest thing. They want to be what everyone is talking about. If your business doesn’t bring in the customers, chances are you will not be in business for long.
While good talk can bring in money, negative talk can ruin you. One disgruntled patron can bring profits to a standstill. Word of mouth and social media can make it easy for people to air their grievances with a business and a few bad comments can really make it difficult for a company to stay in competition with other places of commerce.
There is an expectation these days to please the customer and make things as comfortable for them as possible. This expectation often works great for business, but trying to guess what a customer wants can be a real challenge for the church. Priority of God’s message has, in some churches, been replaced with a priority of filling pews.
Some places of worship have made changes in order to bring more people in. Some have brought in coffee bars and smoothie machines. Some have changed their music to be more popular with certain demographics. Some have even added smoke machines and pyrotechnics.
Pastors have changed as well. Many have changed the way they dress. Some favor a more casual look. Some pastors seem to favor Hawaiian shirts, while others like to fashion a tight t-shirt and worn jeans look.
It seems that many churches have run to the next big thing to bring in a crowd. There are changes made with an honest intention of spreading God’s word, but there are those that have been accused of being gimmicky in order to compete with the church down the street. Sometimes the focus on bells and whistles can dilute or even hide the message of the church.
The deep and simple word can get trampled by the shallow and complex.
If you come to Neighbors hoping to get your favorite smoothie or latte, this may not be the church for you. While we do have great coffee and some amazing treats from time to time, our focus is never really about the food. We value fellowship and believe sharing a meal is a biblical way to celebrate togetherness and welcome our neighbor.
If you come for one certain type of music, this may not be the church for you. While we do like to play a variety of music, our main focus is to worship God. The songs we pick are not due to a beat or rhyme, but to honor and give praise to the Lord.
If you come for a show, this may not be the church for you. We do have a great time during services and many times we can even feel entertained, but we never do anything for the performance. We are always driven by scripture and prayer guides the way we worship.
If you come for a pastor wearing the latest in cool outfits, this may not be the church for you. I often wear jeans and a buttoned-down shirt, but it’s just what I wear. I hope what I wear is never a focus of our time together. Besides, I look ridiculous in tight shirts.
While we cannot say customer service is our motivation, there are some things we do guarantee.
We can guarantee our purpose is to serve Jesus Christ. In our church, Christ comes first. We are not in church for ourselves and we do not do things for profit or recognition. We gather as a church to follow Jesus Christ. For us, it is not about customer service, but rather, service to God. Our satisfaction is not in our comforts. Our comfort is in knowing Christ.
We have a mission; To be a deep and simple church of people that love God, love ourselves, and love our neighbors.
We believe that is something worth talking about.