When it comes to Christ and His Church, what are the rules of engagement? How can you tell if someone is fully engaged?
In his book, Stop Dating the Church: Fall in Love with the Family of God, Joshua Harris said, “These days, experts describe America as a nation of ‘believers’ but not ‘belongers’ – and the numbers confirm it. According to pollster George Barna, while the adult population in the United States increased by 15 percent during the nineties, the number of adults who either didn’t attend church or only went on major holidays increased by 92 percent!”1
Harris writes,“Can you spot what I’m calling a church-dater? Here’s a quick profile. Do you see one or more of these characteristics in yourself?
First, our attitude toward church tends to be me centered. We go for what we can get – social interaction, programs or activities. The driving question is, ‘What can church do for me?’
A second sign of a church-dater is being independent. We go to church because that’s what Christians are supposed to do – but we’re careful to avoid getting involved too much, especially with people. We don’t pay much attention to God’s larger purpose for us as a vital part in a specific church family. So we go through the motions without really investing ourselves.
“We have a concern that goes way beyond just having people show up every week. We want people to be engaged.”
Most essentially, a church-dater tends to be critical. We are short on allegiance and quick to find fault in our church. We treat church with a consumer mentality – looking for the best product for the price of our Sunday morning. As a result, we’re fickle and not invested for the long term, like a lover with a wandering eye, always on the hunt for something better.”2
North Point Ministries in the Atlanta area has six churches and is led by Andy Stanley. They reach over 30,000 people every weekend and one of the areas they work hard on is: engagement.
According to Brian Dodd, “if someone is engaged with the church, that is a way that North Point defines success. There are four levels of engagement they consider and measure: 1) Is someone inviting other people? 2) Are they serving? 3) Are they in a group? 4) Are they giving?”3
Here at Crossroads, we have a concern that goes way beyond just having people show up every week. We want people to be engaged. Fully-engaged, fully devoted followers of Christ (Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 9:23; 2 Timothy 2:1-7).
Chuck Colson said,“Of course every believer is part of the universal church. But for any Christian who has a choice in the matter, failure to cleave to a particular church is failure to obey Christ.”
1. Are you inviting other people?
2. Are you serving?
3. Are you in a connect group?
4. Are you giving?
That’s a great place to start.
© 2016. Barry L. Cameron
1 Harris, Joshua. STOP DATING THE CHURCH: Fall In Love With The Family of God. Multnomah Publishers. 2004. Colorado Springs, CO. Pg. 16.
2 Harris, Joshua. STOP DATING THE CHURCH: Fall In Love With The Family of God. Multnomah Publishers. 2004. Colorado Springs, CO. Pg. 16-17.
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.