Having spent my whole life in church, I have discovered that “church gigs” still exist.
As I explained in my last post, musicians that signed on for what we called a “church gig” would likely not go back to the church in question, as they were really only there to get a paycheck.
There is, however, a significant difference between a “church gig” from my college days and today: the modern “gigger” is a member of the church where the “gig” happens to be.
They just don’t show up any other time.
There are many reasons why believers don’t come to church. I have known people that have left church because a pastor pronounces their actions as sin. I have seen people fade in their passion for God and fade from the memories of faithful attenders. Some feel that they can worship at home with the TV churches out there (Of course, notice that there ARE PEOPLE IN THOSE SEATS IN THOSE CHURCHES ON TV, TOO!) (Sorry. Back on topic.).
But the type I am addressing today are those who only show up at church just to do their job. They have been volunteering in a certain post in the church forever, but if there is a service where they are not needed, they find other things to do.
Maybe it’s an elder who isn’t Elder On Call and decides to take in some SportsCenter. Or perhaps the cellist in the orchestra has the week off, so she stays home and gets some Sunday Spring Cleaning done. Or someone works in the parking lot ministry and goes home after all the cars are parked and the service starts.
(Please note: this isn’t an attack on anyone in particular. My church has neither elders, cellists, or parking lot workers.)
Bottom line: if church is unimportant unless we are doing our job, we have missed the point.
As I see it, there are at least three things wrong with the mindset of these volunteers (I addressed vocational ministry in my last post):
1. Their walk suffers. Hearing the Word of God preached, lifting our voices in worship, integrating ourselves in the midst of other saints… all are profitable. Not just serving.
2. It fosters an unhealthy opinion of one’s role in the church. I learned long ago that the church doesn’t NEED me. God, for that matter, doesn’t NEED my service (but He WANTS it). When a person’s sole purpose for showing up at church is to do whatever it is they do and the rest of the time church is optional, that person has too high and opinion of what they do.
3. Going to church may become like going to a job. These people have a tendency to show up out of duty or commitment and not out of reverence and love for our Savior.
Confronted, many of these might say, “At least I’m serving. Many don’t.” And this is absolutely true. Many more are ALSO disobeying God in a different way by rebelling against God’s call to give of their time and talent in the local church. Absolutely.
But I would say to those defending themselves: “Let God decide what He uses you to do. You stay faithful, regardless. God calls us to different tasks every day. He orders our steps. And He wants you in church. Shake a hand. Listen to the message. Worship. Pray. Be a part.”