This week, I've been mulling over an amazing article by United Methodist Pastor, Rebekah Simon-Peter. It has provided a lot of food for thought for me, so I thought I'd share an excerpt from it with you.
"The primary product in a consumer culture is choice. And the primary question it invites consumers to ask is "What's in it for me?" But is there any place for that sort of question in the church?
"The church prides itself on being a self-sacrificing body, modeled on Christ'sself-giving love. "What's in it for me?" runs counter to everything we believe in. Or does it?
"Jesus gave people a reason to follow him, answering the inherent question: What's in it for me? He met people's deepest needs through his hands on healing. When calling disciples, he said, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men and women!"
"What's in it for me?"
It's an honest question that deserves an honest answer. The secret value in [people] posing the question is they might actually find their own unique reason for being part of the church. They might find their answer for being connected to Christ. The not so secret value in our answering it is we get to check if we are actually serving people or asking them to serve us. In other words, if we are there to help them fulfill their lives, or just our structures.
"All too often we simply tell them what we, the church, are prepared to offer. Or what we think they should be looking for. Or perhaps we don't even explain that. But when people can connect with what truly matters to them, and see a way to fulfill that through the church, then they will be eager partners in their own spiritual formation. They will be eager disciples of Jesus Christ. But we must be willing to have them ask us the "What's in it for me?" question. And to wrestle honestly with the answers."