One of my Facebook friends recently posted a suggestion that I think has a lot of merit. Instead of encouraging people to “shop” for a church, maybe we should have an annual draft with tryouts, like the NFL. The church gets to pick who they want, not the other way around. Interesting concept.
Perhaps this is an untenable idea, especially for new converts. But for mature believers, I think it has real possibilities.
Think about it. Right now, someone just shows up at a church, decides they like what they see on the surface, and makes a choice to join. But, what if, after a tryout, the new church doesn’t really want them? What if the church checks the person’s resumé, sees a pattern of divisiveness, and says they’re not welcome? Or, what if their former church isn’t ready to let them go?
We have a consumerism mentality in the American Church. It’s all about my needs and wants. If I don’t get my way, I stomp my feet and pout (or scream). And, likely, you do, too. But the Christian life is not about consuming; it is about giving.
Additionally, Americans in general have been ill-prepared to deal with conflict of any sort. We have too frequently learned conflict resolution techniques from worldly television programs. When a disagreement arises, we have a tendency to cross our arms and walk away. But what if we tried a biblical idea and loved one another even while not agreeing on every issue? What if we dialoged through issues of contention? What if we majored on the majors – clear biblical principles – and paid less attention to the minors? Like it or not, Sunday School classes, music styles, cushy chairs, video projection, youth groups, and sermon length are not scriptural issues. We may have strong opinions about such topics, but they are still in the less-important-issues category.
A church draft system might force Christians to be less me-focused and also to deal with matters in a godly fashion. I think that has real possibilities. What do you think?