At least once a week we get a piece of mail that was intended for the Echo Lake Country Club. There are a lot of reasons for this confusion: it is located just down the road from us, between here and the park entrance; maybe the postman just notices the Echo Lake and all the C’s, and often it will actually have our number and their name.
I do hope, though, that this is where the confusion ends. And I pray that there aren’t too many others out there or in here who confuse the two different groups; because we are very different, at least I think we are.
- At a country club, no one cares how often you show up as long as the money shows up.
- At a country club, they are more likely to gossip about you than truly get to know you (sorry for the generalization).
- At a country club, they stay out of your business, not wanting to get involved in your problems.
- At a country club, your moral character isn’t relevant as long as you don’t break Country Club rules or the law.
- At a country club, it is assumed you will be like everyone else and there is no expectation to be better.
- At a country club, you aren’t part of a family, just a bunch of individuals who share the same space occasionally.
- At a country club, you pick and choose relationships based on who you like or who is most like you.
- At a country club, you use it for the benefits whenever you want.
- At a country club, you can stop your membership at any point without repercussion.
- At a country club, the emphasis is on games and leisure.
- At a country club, loyalty and commitment are irrelevant.
While many churches might have these characteristics, Church, as God defined it and Jesus built it, is the opposite of what was listed.
Has Sunday morning become a “worship club?” Is it just one of many appointments, one of many groups you are a part of? We show up and do what is required, and even occasionally make an effort to do it well. But, is it just a Sunday thing? And then Monday, we do our Monday thing? And Tuesday, our Tuesday thing?
A church or preacher can’t require anything more of you than God or Jesus. But God and Jesus require and expect and desire certain things from us—like wholehearted love and devotion.
Is your involvement and participation with your congregation simply a cost-effective country club or is it more? Are you getting all the social fellowship with none of the commitment or transformation–a church lite? Do you even want more?