Consuming vs Contributing at Church

Last Saturday we found out that the Church parking lot had not been cleared, so we were unable to have Church in-person. We had a Zoom Sacrament Meeting, but no second hour classes. Since January had a 5th Sunday, rather than holding some kind of combined class, they just pushed the 4th Sunday lessons to the 5th Sunday.

Yesterday I led the discussion in Elders Quorum. Our source was President Dallin H Oaks‘ talk “The Need for a Church” from the October 2021 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was probably my favourite talk from that General Conference. I love church. I love the Church. I wish everyone went to church. I find some much satisfaction and fulfillment when I worship together with other people.

As I was preparing some questions for the discussion, I did a search online to see what current information there was about the prevailing though on going to Church. I came across a post called “Why attending church no longer makes sense” by someone named Carey Nieuwhof. I wasn’t familiar with Carey, but the title certainly got my attention. I read through the post, and discovered that it wasn’t that he is advocating that people stay away from church. It is about our attitude as we go to church.

The main reason I gather with the church is because I am the church.

You don’t attend church. You are the church.

Merely attending church doesn’t make you much of a church because sitting in a back row consuming church doesn’t make you very good at being the church.

I think being the church has something to do with living your life for Christ, demonstrating God’s love by serving others and sharing your faith with people. That’s very different than consuming church in a back row, which you can just as easily do on your back deck.

The reason you would go to church today is that you’ve moved from being a consumer to being a contributor. You don’t just go to be served, you go to serve. There’s something deeply scriptural about that.

gathering together was Jesus’ idea, not ours…

You are the church. Remember that. And the church is at it’s best when we engage in the mission God has given us.

I really like that distinction between “consuming” and “contributing”. Of course, if all you can do is get out of bed on a Sunday morning is consume, please do that. It will be beneficial to you. But at some point we need to do more. We need to contribute to the atmosphere, share ideas during lessons/discussion, and minister to others. We need to contribute.