We showed this video at the beginning of the message this past Sunday:
The video led into talking about our attitude when it comes to money and generosity and giving.
We live in a culture that bombards us with advertisements. The message we receive is "you get what you pay for." Our value system has become "I will buy the product if it delivers what I want." That mentality is good (to a certain extent) for spending our money wisely and finding great deals. It's good for a consumer oriented economy.
The problem is when we bring that same mentality into the church worship service. If we aren't careful our attitude might become: I will only "buy" the "product" if the worship service meets my expectations:
- I will only give if the service delivers the kind of music I want.
- I will only give if I feel "comfortable" in the service.
- I will only give if someone remembered my aunt was in the hospital last week.
- I will only give if the pastor visited me that week.
- I will only give if the preacher doesn't make me feel guilty.
- I will only give if the preacher makes me laugh.
- I will only give if ...
This "you get what you pay for" mentality robs the worship service of what it's intended to be about...which is worshipping the God of the universe for who He is and what He has done for us. The worship experience on Sunday morning is not about delivering a product...it's about connecting with God.
Now, I am not saying that you shouldn't have expectations going into a worship service. What I am saying is that you should have the right expectations.
There's is room for disagreement and having an opinion and having certain preferences for how you worship. However, there is a time and place and manner of expressing those things that can be done without hampering the worship service itself.
The question isn't "am I getting what I pay for" if I give to this church? The question is "Do I expect to connect with God through the power of the Holy Spirit so that I can become more like Jesus through what happens during this worship service."
What's your attitude when you come into a worship service? What's your attitude when it comes to your money? Your attitude will often determine your experience.