In my experience as a church attender, pastor, and small group leader, I have encountered many people from different walks of life. Some are struggling with their sense of purpose, or direction in life. Some are simply curious about the concept of getting deeper into scripture. Others come to church with an open mind, not really knowing what to expect. With people that are new to church, there is a noticeable posture of intimidation. Perhaps the last time they attended a church service was when they were a child and it was an overwhelming experience.
In any case, no matter whom I have come in contact with in the church setting, two main personality types began to emerge. First, is the personality of the contributor. Contributors attend church to find involvement and an outlet to use their gifts. They look at church as a place they could be plugged in to serve God and the mission of the church. Consumers are the second group (all people are consumers at times). Consumers attend a church to find things they need or want such as healing, encouragement, spiritual nourishment, a good children’s program, upbeat music, stellar preaching, or even prayer support. These can all be noble things.
What often happens, however, when an individual seeks maturity in the faith is that they begin to see their function in the body differently. They no longer come to church to receive anything, but to give of themselves more. Their blessing comes from proactive engagement. Their nourishment comes from helping to feed others. Of course they still need encouragement, and have preferences from time to time. This is a given…but it makes one think about their own motives when attending church, doesn’t it? I challenge you to take a personal assessment about how you view church.