Monday, December 10, 2012

When the Shopping Mall Mentality Comes to Church

Even in the midst of a recession and looming "fiscal cliff", "Black Friday", the day after Thanksgiving hit with a vengence!  Malls and shopping centers were filled to capacity at the earliest hours of the day, and if that wasn't enough to fill your desire, there was always "Cyber Monday"! The day when internet shoppers go wild and actually find better bargains at the convenience of a stroke of their computer than those who ventured out days before!

While this activity gives the economy a brief boost, and temporary spike in employment too, the aftermath is usually as devastating to the family budget as the remnants of Hurricane Sandy!

However an even greater crisis to the kingdom of God looms over the horizon.  While the fiscal cliff promises devastating consequences, the "Spiritual Cliff" facing the church promises even more horrific ramifications!  When believers bring a "Shopping Mall" mentality to the church the eternal consequences are catastrophic!

Believers now choose churches and pastors like the clothes they buy at Macy's!  Quality is not the standard anymore... it's all about the style and convenience!  We now choose churches based on the beauty of the facilities, not the beauty of the preached gospel!  We want it fast and we want it at our convenience.  Youth Ministries have been turned into glorified daycare centers with Disney-like amenities!  Now I was a youth pastor and did many of these very same things at the mega-church I was employed.  However I have now discovered to my deep disappointment that many of the same kids are having great difficulty adjusting to church life as an adult once the youth group experience is over!

Adults are choosing celebrity pastors over true servant shepherds who actually care for the sheep.  They are choosing a show on Sunday, rather than genuine care and fellowship Monday through Saturday.

Unfortunately, the bible is clear in this declaration... "it is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgement"!  No exceptions, no excuses!  No Black Friday discounts or Cyber Monday specials!  Then ultimately when death visits a loved one or friend,  they turn to the "rejected church" and anticipate Shopping Mall ministry and instant service, when they have not been faithful to the bride of Christ, His church and the honeymoon is over!

It doesn't have to be that way!  In John 14:6 Jesus said "I am the Way, the Truth, and the LifeNo man comes to the father but by me. "  Serving Him is a daily commitment of obedience!  You don't have to shop for a glamorous Jesus, or a discounted convenient Jesus!  Just choose a church that presents the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who wants to invade the darkness of your life with His marvelous light!

Black Friday takes place in the darkness, but each week "Savior Sunday" takes place in the light, to adjust your priorities so that you might experience His joy and peace everyday!  The choice is yours!  Look for what's REAL, TRUE, and don't settle for false substitutes no matter how BIG, and GLAMOROUS it appears, only to bring temporary satisfaction!  "Shopping Mall Mentality" has no room in the church of Jesus Christ, where eternal life is the ultimate prize!

Search for Jesus alone!  Nobody Greater


  1. What are the reason's you choose a church? Is Jesus Christ and the truth of His Word enough? What is your priority?

  2. This message says it all, especially how youth ministry is viewed by many seeking a church. I remember the days when families worshiped together in the sanctuary following separate Sunday School classes. Not that everything was perfect in the past, but there were some benefits to actually seeing adults, and specifically men, vibrantly and unashamedly lifting up the name of Jesus. This mentality helps to perpetuate the problem of, "not enduring sound doctrine" (2 Tim 4:3). I'm afraid it may not improve until persecution of Saints his America!