There is a growing church in America today, the name of which, most people have never heard of; it is the Walmart Church! Now, you will not see the name “The Walmart Church” on the marquee outside, but there are locations all around!
What is “The Walmart Church?” It is the church of convenience! The Walmart stores specialize in making shopping convenient for their customers, with many locations having retail and groceries under the same roof. Convenience is a big thing with the Walmart Church, with services at different times for the convenience of its attenders.
The Walmart Church is also the church of discount prices! At the Walmart Church, God’s approval and blessings are offered at a great discount! One can lay claim to Christianity with little or no cost to one’s previous lifestyle. At the Walmart Church, one can be a “Christian” and yet be spared the embarrassment of being fundamentally different from one’s “non-Christian” neighbors. All one has to do to remain a member in good standing is consistently donate an offering and attend a mass meeting on Sunday.
Now of course, I am being sarcastic and there really is no such thing as “The Walmart Church!” But I wonder, is that really the state of the church in many places in America. When many people consider becoming a part of a church today, they actually go “church-shopping!” They visit congregation after congregation, looking for the one that fits their list of specific characteristics: The preacher must be a dynamic and engaging speaker. The music ministry must be lively and entertaining and it would be a plus if there is a drama and fine arts ministry! And of course, there must be a Teen, Youth, or Children’s Ministry to engage the kids while the adults go to the big church to “get their praise on!”
But whatever happened to the idea of being a part of a church because one felt led of God to be there? Whatever happened to the idea of the church being a place to nurturing relationships and fostering spiritual growth? Whatever happened to the idea of finding a church where one was led of God to join so that one might express and utilize their own spiritual gifts in ministerial service?
The church, as Jesus formed it, was not designed to serve its membership. Its membership was designed to be an extension of the ministry of her Lord in serving others! In other words, the real question today that one should be asking is not what this church can do for me and my family, but rather how can my family and I help this church fulfill the Great Commission that the Lord has given!
Well, I don’t know about you! Keep looking for “The Walmart Church” if you want to! As for me, I am looking and I am working to transform the church where I serve into a place where people feel led of God to be a part of! A place where we don’t just “have church” and be entertained, but a place where people are taught, inspired, and challenged to be all that God has called them to be!