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Burger King Church

Burger King Church

In our American-ized culture, we all know we can pretty much take anything and "have it our way".

Same holds true for our churches.

Drums/no drums? Choir/no choir? Regular/Decaf? Pews/Chairs? NIV/KJV/ESV?

Good/bad, right/wrong - I don't know - but I just can't help but laugh at us (the Church) when I see 4 churches on a street corner (literally sharing parking lots - I've seen it) that all look/sound/smell/act the same, and the only difference is the color of carpet. Or the Bible translation. Or the use of technology...etc...

I'm being silly; but it's true! I know of many churches who split, hired the same architect, and wanted to make a copy of the church they grew up in BUT wanted to change one thing...all in the name of making it just what they want.

So, at first glance you (and myself) might think that we are just plain silly in our American Country Club churches, and if you look at any other church around the world you'll see just how blessed (spoiled) we are.

But my wife and I were talking about this yesterday, and just had to ask: Is going to a Burger King church really so bad?
We couldn't come up with an answer; just thoughts:
(These are in context of a Believer who is searching for a new church community to call home)

If you're like most people, you have music, teaching, vibe, and other taste preferences when it comes to corporate worship gatherings.

So, if you go a church where the music style is NOT what you like, do you call that a distraction? Can it be? Possibly.

What if the teaching is amazing, and REALLY speaks to you? Do you stay? Do you "SUFFER" through the music for the teaching? (I can't believe I used that word: suffer)

What if you LOVE the music, but don't get anything out of the teaching? Do you worship corporately at that church but listen to another pastor online? (We did; and I bet a lot reading do too.)

What if you have kids? The Children's Church at this church is the best in the area; but the rest of the "church" is bland to you...

So, can you/do you strive to find the "perfect" church?
(Ha...yeah, there is no such thing. But I am saying that in our country, it's likely that you are able to find a church home that "fits" your preferences.)

The bottom line questions to ask are is:
Do you worship "better" (whatever that means) in a church that fits your preferences? If you do, is that...wrong?

Are we so conditioned in our country to not stop looking/wanting until we find the "perfect fit", that we are never satisfied with the simple act of worshiping Christ?


19 comments (Add your own)

1. Brad wrote:
If there are things you like about the church, and other things you hate, then the church could probably use your help to enhance that ministry. If the preaching is awesome but the music is lacking, start by speaking with the music minister to see what's going on and how you can help. You may not be able to play an instrument or carry a tune in a bucket, but there are plenty of things behind the scenes that can be done, and often those things encourage others to strive for better outcomes.

Thu, March 21, 2013 @ 9:46 AM

2. Ozzy wrote:
The message this past sunday at our church was focused on this topic. The pastor actually used the Burger King slogan as well in the message. What I gathered from the message and our planning meeting (I am the creative director on staff) is that when the purpose of church starts to be centered around our wants rather than meeting the needs of others, inside and outside the body, then we are losing God's vision for us as His people.

The conclusion that we came to as a staff in our discussion throughout the week was, because the bible doesn't layout a right or wrong way to create and run a church, then it is our responsibility to continue to uphold the commands he gives us as individuals and unify as one body when we come together.

What this means is that the focus of church shouldn't be what we get out on Sunday morning (or whenever your gather), rather what we have put into the kingdom since the last time we were gathered and sent out. We have a tough debate going on in the midst of the church right now about whether the church is meant to reach the lost or to feed the found. Our pastor says why can't it do both?... That I guess leads back to the question of should the church be all things to its people. I believe that I Corinthians 9:19-23 commands us to do just that. And the great thing about being a church body is that God has gifted His people in different ways to excel in different areas. But Paul is talking about meeting the needs of others and preaching the gospel, not making sure that everyone that he came across was happy with the message that he preached.

To sum up my thoughts I would say that we cannot have the Burger King church and expect to be healthy as the body of Christ because in the case of Burger King's "Have it your way", our way isn't the right way. If we are seeking God's will for our church and meeting the needs (not wants) of those in the body and the outside community, then our way won't matter all that much. Teach people to worship in their daily life and they won't put that responsibility on the staff and volunteers nearly as much as they used to. This will allow for the time of corporate worship to be focused on what God has done and is doing rather than on what can I get out of it today.

Thu, March 21, 2013 @ 10:12 AM

3. Steve Gray wrote:
Screwtape - Chapter 16. And, while I agree with CS Lewis most of the time, I think each church must hear from God how their particular church is supposed to present itself in this post-modern world. We are all different parts, but belong to the same body, so we can't allow ourselves to entertain thoughts of how much better our church is than the church across the street. The Baptist church reaches a certain kind of people that our hip Pentecostal church will never reach. That's why we need each other. And, that's why there should be a spirit of cooperation between the churches in our communities, because we are all on the same team. We just look and sound different. And then, each church should constantly ask God how He wants their church, and remain true to that, I think that is part of 'worshipping in spirit and in truth' - remaining true to what God has called you to be and do.

So, your scenario where two churches are identical, except for carpet color - if God spoke to the one church and told them to start their own body based on carpet color, that's fine with me. But, if that split was borne out of something other than that, then perhaps a reread of Paul's letters about unity is in order.

If the American church could just grasp the concept of unity, and not be afraid of members leaving 'their' body for another church, and could just coordinate their efforts, instead of being so divisive and overprotective, the world would be a much better place.

Tue, December 9, 2014 @ 11:48 AM

4. A. Tucker wrote:
How about the utter sadness in the idea that a believer's wants and preferences become, at best, a distraction for the individual and, worse yet, a seed for dissension in the body of Christ. I think that, if a believer feels these things, he or she needs to consider that this way of thinking is a symptom of a deeper problem - they have placed the idol of self on the throne of their heart.

First of all, worship is not a segment of time during a gathering of believer's (AKA: church service). It is a lifestyle (AKA: posture of the heart). We are worshipping something every second of every day (inwardly). If we are spending each moment in (inward) worship of the God of Heaven, the Creator of this universe - all that is seen and unseen, based on solid theology and the truth found in scripture, then our preferences of architecture, decoration (including carpeting), style of music/visuals/teaching, children's programs, etc. will be so not even a blip on our radar that the inward worship from the previous week can't be held in when the believers come together regardless of any outward circumstances.

Second of all, corporate worship in the body of Christ is, in it's essence, practice for eternity. This may be news for some believers, but, if we are truly in Christ, then this world is not our home. I fear that many of us (and I'm certainly not excluding myself here) are far to comfortable and "at home" here in this fallen physical world. We (American believers) are not, by and large, familiar with the idea of being a stranger or sojourner in this life. Are we so self-absorbed as to think that when we are called from this life into the next that we will be worshipping the Trinity in the fashion that we prefer here and now? There will be absolutely no consideration of anything but the beauty and majesty of God's glory and the depth and wonder of His grace for all eternity. That should be the focus and intent of our gatherings NOW!

I know that we are not able to "love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind" in this sin tainted flesh, but the commandment stands none the less and His grace abound all the more. There is nothing we did or could do to initiate our salvation or keep it until the day of judgement aside from his grace. Therefore, we (hopefully) worship him here and now as best we can, both inwardly and corporately (Matthew 22:37), in spirit and in truth (John 4:23), and looking forward to an eternity devoted to worshipping Him (Rev. 5:11-14). You're going to be hard pressed to find any mention of personal preferences in references to worship in scripture.

Let's resolve together to not to "change the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man" and continually examine ourselves as to whether we are on the wide or narrow path as opposed to examining whether our fleshly preferences are being satisfied.

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