Truth be told, the church has never met my needs. That’s odd to me since I’ve been in it my entire life and now serve her full-time. What’s odd to me is that people in church keep telling me that we need to do things to “meet people’s needs.”
I mean, I suppose the church has met my deeper needs in some ways that I cannot articulate, but the meeting of needs I most frequently hear about have to do with externals: services that last no longer than an hour, 15 minutes sermon about kids and families, events that are fun and high-energy, leadership that doesn’t challenge, etc….
I hardly ever hear anyone say, “I think our church should help me get over my selfishness and greed” or “I wish our church would teach me how to be humble person in a competitive workplace.” No one ever says, “Goodness, I wish this church had a word to say about the fact that water is thicker than blood and that life is about baptized brothers and sisters in Christ and what they do together in the world, more than about my immediate family.” Where are the voices saying, “This church could really be something if we learned to live peace-filled lives and love folks like Osama bin Laden and that crazy guy over in Iran.”?
Here’s my question: In the church’s frenzy to “meet needs” by having active kids and youth ministries, clever preaching, entertaining worship complete with the style of music we like, the lack of prophetic voices, and all at a cut-rate prices, are churches failing to met anyone’s true and deepest needs? It seems to me, that many of us in the church are lying to people. We imply that we can meet their needs, yet offer them something that satisfies their wants, but never get close to their needs.
What do you think?