Faith Matters: People want to experience God in church, not in marketing

I have been in church since I was born. My parents put me in the church crèche when I was two weeks old. I’ve been there ever since.

Like anyone who grows up going to church, there is a time in your life when you wonder, “Am I doing this to please my parents or am I going to church because that it is something that I want to do for me?

Many people have told me that they quit going to church because it was dry, boring, uninviting, and really didn’t make a difference in their lives. I understand.

I remember singing hymns so slow that I couldn’t help but yawn throughout the song. I always wondered why songs like this stood the test of time when they seemed to suck my life instead of giving life to my soul.

Isn’t that the point of singing songs in church, to give life rather than to take life?

Recognizing that a younger generation was beginning to drift away from regular church attendance, we saw a shift in music being written for sing in churches. It was more upbeat and started to sound a lot like the music you’d find on a soft rock radio station. It wasn’t right or wrong, but I think part of the design intent was to bring people back to church. It was to introduce that the church was “hip” and “cool” and that you should reconsider your absence and give the church another chance.

A “seeker-sensitive” format and agenda began to seep into meeting room conversations and plans to make churches much more palatable to those who attended or never attended church would consider to investigate what she had to offer. Although it was started with good intentions, what many have learned is that it is impossible to market the church. It’s not a business.

A church that truly has Christ at the center of all it is and all it does seeks to provide an experience with God himself. Not a manufactured one, but one that leaves attendees at the end of the service saying, “I felt God in this place today.”

People don’t just want to be told about God. They just don’t want to read about it. They don’t want to sing catchy tunes that give you tingles, and they don’t want to be programmed to death all week doing “church stuff.”

People want to experience God.

To do this, they want to serve Him and others. It’s amazing how when we reach out to a hurting world with the love of Christ, we not only make a difference in the world around us, but we also experience love, peace and compassion. of Jesus.

The church has become too insular. The church has been told for years that she cares more about herself than those around her.

Generation Y is a generation that wants to make a difference in the world. They want to leave the world in a better place than when they entered it. Their church must have the same spirit.

It’s not about cool songs or coffee served. It is about sharing the love and Good News of Jesus to a frustrated, hurt and disillusioned world. They need to hear and experience the wonder of Christ’s salvation and, in turn, care for the world around them that also needs Christ.

Matt Wiley is the Senior Pastor of Rice Road Community Church in Welland