Churches “Update” Services

According to a recent news report, a growing number of people now “shop” for their church as they do for a supermarket or fitness center. Robert E. Hinson, the senior “pastor” of the Spring Valley Church of God in Pennsylvania, said, “They could care less about what denomination a church is, and instead look for one that most suits their needs.” Furthermore, he stated, “People aren’t coming because we’re a Church of God. They’re coming because they like what we offer.”

Calvin Kurtz, executive director of the Reading Berks Conference of Churches, observed that “church shopping” became popular during the 1960s and has grown more so over the last decade. He said, “Some seek a new church after changing residences, while others simply decide they want a church or religion that makes them feel more at home.”

When we talk about “shopping” for churches by looking at what they “offer,” we transgress the word of God. Jesus demanded that we worship “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). We are to look for the truth, not what we want. In ancient times, the king of Israel, Jeroboam, thought he would invent a religion that would “offer” the people convenience and allow them to worship closer to home. Does this not sound like the news article above? However, this was an abomination to God. By divine inspiration, the writer declared that “this thing became a sin” (1 Kings 12:30). The first century church was directed as to how to worship God. Why do we keep devising ways of our own heart (1 Kings 12:33)? Can we not be content with God?

Kyle Campbell