Cater To My Needs

What They Say:  “I’m looking for a church that preaches the Word!”
What They Mean: "…

1 Kings 12.25-33

Reference:  v.28 After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves.  He said to the people, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem.  Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt." (NIV Bible)


Explore:  I recently read a blog entry from Perry Noble, Senior Pastor of NewSpring Church, located in Anderson, SC, and writer of Perry Noble dot com.  He was stating the difference between what people say and what they really mean.  He wrote it with a smile and I couldn't help but smile myself as I read it however there was one segment that really rang true for me: 

What They Say:  “I’m looking for a church that preaches the Word!”
What They Mean:  “I’m looking for a church that preaches MY view of the Word.  I think the BLANK translation should be used…I think BLANK should be talked about a lot while BLANK should be ignored.  And if you ever stop preaching my view of the Word I will leave and tell others that you don’t preach the Word!”

I have spoken to numerous ministers lately that have people in their congregation saying similar things.  And if you dig a little further you realise that the person is actually saying: "The church needs to cater for my every need.  I want to know more about the Bible so the church should do that for me so I don't need to do it for myself."  We are building such a consumeristic society that we expect the church to build our own spirituality.

Application:  When Jeroboam had been made king over Israel he wanted to maintain control over the people.  He feared that if the Israelites were to go back to Jerusalem to worship God in their temple that they would give back their allegiance to Rehoboam.  And so he created golden gods and gave them more centralised places to worship.  Jeroboam made worship easy for the people and they responded with compliance. It seems that the 'cater to my needs' people are not new to our generation! 
Today we are all about instant, easy and quick gratification however that is not always the best road to travel.  Following God requires discipline, patience and long-term commitment.  We mustn't be seduced by the easy wide road but stay commited to our God even when the going gets tough.

Prayer:  Lord, you never dessert us or forsake us.  May we experience your closeness as we step through the difficult trials that life often brings.  Amen.

How do we determine the right balance between working in community but being personally responsible for our own faith?

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.