Drive-Thru Church

Our time-period in history is a unique one in the fact that we have something called “Drive-Thru” restaurants. Got a car full of kids and sporting activities to get to?  There’s a Drive-Thru for that! Not enough time on your lunch break at work?  There’s a restaurant for that!  The thing about a drive thru is the convenience. They are quick, cheap, and generally satisfying.

Today, however, this awesome phenomenon of quick and easy service has seeped into the church.  There actually are a few “drive-thru” churches with a literal drive-thru, by the way.  However, I’m not one for name calling and pointing fingers so we’ll just let them be.  The part of this fast-food church phenomenon I want to look at is this:  just like going to Burger King, a lot of people attempt to make church “their way” by getting only the things they want.

Want a long sermon?  Drive-Thru!  Want a short-sermon that makes you feel warm and fuzzy?  Come on in!  Want all the love of Jesus without any mustard, ketchup, or wrath of God?  We can do that!  Want a contemporary sermon?  Drive on through! Want a church without babies crying?  We got that, too! Do you see what I’m working with, church?

I will be first to admit I can be pretty picky about church.  However, God has helped me to get the point that just because I don’t like something, or even just because I think something is important and should be included…that doesn’t mean it’s what God wants. I love a contemporary worship service.  I love the energy of Winterfest.  I love being part of those things, however, that doesn’t mean that everyone else does.

I’m trying to get at a point.  I guess instead of just beating around the bush I’ll say it:  church isn’t about you.  It’s not about me.  It’s not about what we want or think should happen. We come to church to worship the Creator of the Universe.  We come every Sunday morning, hearts in hand, to glorify our King Jesus. We come every week to sit at the table of the Lord and share a meal in remembrance of Him. We come to get encouraged, uplifted, and strengthened in the word from a sermon.  We come to be together because we can’t go very far in our walk with God alone without the help of brothers and sisters.

See, divisions and problems come into play when people begin to exalt their “preferences” over everyone else’s. “I will only sing from that song book.  I don’t like it when the preacher says ____________.” I don’t like things that make it seem there is entertainment involved.  I don’t like slow, old hymns. I could literally type forever about the “Me, me, me” mentality in church today.  The hard part is this:  we’re going to have to roll up our sleeves and really see that things we don’t “like” may be completely OK to God.  On the other hand, we have to sit down and ponder that while something may be OK to God, does that mean we cause an entire group of people to fight over it and divide the peace of the community?

There’s a little sentence in Philippians four that shows us how we should handle these things: I ask Euodia and Syntyche to agree in the Lord (Phil. 4:2, NCV). Just agree, Paul says. He doesn’t say who is right and who is wrong.  You know why?  Because it doesn’t’ matter to God.  I may not like it, you may not like me, we may not like something…but we have no right to divide, gossip, tear down, or hurt the body of Christ because of our preferences.  Until the church get this and puts it into practice we will have a VERY hard time reaching out.  That’s why Paul says, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). Let us get away from Drive-Thru church and become the church.  Just something to think about. – Scott


3 thoughts on “Drive-Thru Church

  1. I was an usher at the Church I spend most of my time. Every week I got a schedule, called the order of service. At the three minute mark we will doing this, at the 15 minute mark worship will be over, communion will commence immediately, and at the 25 minute mark the stage is relinquished to the pastor for his sermon.
    I understand why they must do this, because there is a crowd of people outside waiting to get in for their service, and there is always a video recording time frame to be dealt with.

    Although, they stand before us and implore God to come mightily, they did not bother to schedule him in.

    I miss the church of my childhood. It made me who I am today.


  2. Personally, I LOVE the old hymns but we never sing them anymore – so what?

    I remember one service I attended at a large area church of Christ. The preacher was talking about Proverb 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

    The preacher said, “Now, this is not an airtight promise.” Even his PowerPoint slide had the words, “Not an airtight promise”. After service, I jumped this guy in the parking lot. I had to teach this “herald of the gospel” that the only thing that counts as righteousness is whether we believe the promises of God.

    Too much of the lame preaching in church today is anti-gospel. “How hard are you working for God?” “Did you make a strong enough commitment to God?” Etc. All that stuff is off topic. Do you believe the promises of God? If you answer “yes” then take the test.

    Jesus said in John 15:7, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you.”

    How does that promise make you feel? Are you offended by the words of the Master? Do you run for the exits when you hear something this fantastic? Jesus wrote us a BLANK CHECK – if we abide in Him. Do you try to explain that verse away when you hear it? Jesus said, “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me”. Lots of paid preachers are offended by the promises of God. They even teach their hearers to ignore them. It’s reprehensible.

    Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness (Gen. 15:6). We are counted righteous if we believe His promises but preachers and teaches in the Lord’s church are advising that His promises are not to be trusted. They subtly teach that it’s our promise and commitment to Him that counts as righteousness but Jesus said, “Swear not at all”.

    We’ve missed the boat somehow. What God counts as important, we are taught to ignore. What God tells us not to do, we teach people to do. Your commitment to God doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. It’s not what you do for God that’s important; it’s what God has done for us.

    Any preacher who wants a unique message in the church today will focus on what Paul called “my gospel”.


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