This week we explore Hebrews 10:24-25 and talk about the difference between consumers and contributors when it comes to the church. When you give at Harmony, you are investing in life change and are Advancing the Kingdom! GIVE TODAY, text any amount to (859) 459-0316 to get started (or give online @ my.harmonychurch.cc/give .——————-
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OPENING ILLUSTRATION: How many of you love to shop?
Oh man, I hate to shop… Jenni knows how long she has to shop based on the level of my complaining.
I’m at a 1 when I’m acting friendly but have a fake smile on my face. I’m at a 5 when I start to complain that my knees or feet hurt and lord help me if I ever have to get to a 10 – cause I’m faking a heart attack baby!
Ha, I really don’t like to shop very much…But one thing I hate more than anything is when I’m shopping or pay for a service and don’t get what I paid for…
There is nothing that irks me more. I skip right past 10…I’m nice still, but OH MAN! I’m not happy
And that’s how it should be, right? Because we all know, the customer is always right
This is how the world of transactional experiences work. I pay for a good or service you deliver
I am a consumer and you are the provider
But what happens when you take something that is by its nature relational – not transactional and try to apply the same logic to it?
When transactions take the place of relationship, disfunction is soon to follow
Imagine a husband and wife acting transactionally – which happens ALL the time! What ends up happening in a marriage like that is everyone has their little transaction books and they are constantly keeping track of what debts are owed them and what all they have put into the relationship.
If your relationship is transactional, “I did X, why haven’t you done Y” you are heading towards disfunction. The difference is transactional experiences are based on a consumer mentalityRelational experiences are based on a contributor mentality
Consumers put in and take out – they need things to be equitableContributors are concerned primarily with what they can add
Here’s the problem for most of us, when we think about the church – we view it primarily through the lens of a consumer
It’s been designed that way for years.-in the late 90’s-mid 2000s there was a movement for churches to be “attractional”-meaning we intentionally do things to make ourselves cooler so people will come to our church
It hyper-focused us on being consumers even more
Think about the words we use to describe trying to find a church b Church Shopping
Most people when they are looking for a church are looking for one that fits them, they like the music, like the preacher, don’t get too offended, aren’t asked to be too involved, etc.
But I think it’s important sometimes in life and stop yourself and ask“Is this how it’s supposed to be?”
Listen to what the author of Hebrews calls the church to…Hebrews 10:24-2524 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
ILLUSTRATION: When I was writing this sermon, I asked my kids, “why do we need church?” They said things like, “because we want to hear a really good preacher.” or “because we want to grow in our relationship with Jesus.” What’s your answer? Why do we need church?
The problem is, none of those answers were satisfying in and of themselves-Need good worship music-Need to hear a good sermon-Need it to grow in my relationship with God
You can get on Youtube and listen to music, you can within 5 seconds have a better preacher than me on your phone, you can read the bible and grow in your understanding and relationship with God without going to church…
The only satisfying answer I can come to is the one Hebrews gave us, did you hear it?
Listen again, but this time listen with your ears for the action words. Hebrews 10:24-2524 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Spur one another toward better worship. Not give up meeting together so we can hear another sermon. no, that’s not it… the emphasis is on
One another. Spur one another toward love and good deeds. Not give up meeting together but encouraging one another
The church is and was always meant to be relational – NOT transactional
But, it has become about content – about transaction – this is why people feel it’s ok to just walk away from a church without dealing with whatever is frustrating them-It’s why we feel fine tearing down a pastor or ministry leader – because it’s all a transaction-It’s why it doesn’t hurt as much to be gossipy about what you don’t like because after all, it’s all about me anyway…
But we were meant for so much more! We were meant to be contributorssoHow do you move from a Church Consumer to a Contributor of the church?
Choose discerning over criticalPhilippians 1:9-119 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
The difference between discerning and critical is the heart it proceeds from. Critical has to do with my standard not being met, discerning comes out love for what’s best
ILLUSTRATION: News flash – I’m not perfect and not always right. I always listen to discerning people – the people who come to me with a heart of love for the church and for me. I’ve had people tell me when I was younger that I said something way over the line in a sermon, and I truly listened to them and evaluated… It’s because the discerning person is on the field with me saying, “We gotta do better.” The critic is a fat guy in the stands eating a chili dog complaining about the plays the coach is making.
Choose together over alone Act 2:42-4742 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
This is what encouraging each other looks like, it’s what spurring one another on looks like…
These believers met together in each other’s homes, they sold their stuff to help support each other. It was their love for one another that attracted others…
You can’t move from consumer to contributor if you never get involved-Serve in a ministry-Join a connection Group-get into a place where you can be involved in relationships that support one another…
CLOSING ILLUSTRATION: In our small group, one of the most powerful things has been the one another between us. Some of our friends got a new foster baby and everyone stepped up to ask how we could help. We pray for one another and laugh together, we even sang karaoke – but I’m telling you the part I loved the most was sharing ourselves with each other. We talked about serious stuff, loss, pain, encouragement, caring for each other and it literally changed and marked all of us, so much so that we didn’t ever want to leave our group – but we all want all of you to experience it too – to experience one another…
What about you, are you ready to take that leap?