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Churches, Like Restaurants

I am a creature of habit. Take me to a restaurant, and I will almost always order the same thing every time. To be fair, it changes based on the restaurant, but I have my standard order for them all. I know there will be other good options on the menu; some of them may even be more to my liking than my usual. That knowledge, however, still doesn't stop me from ordering the same thing time after time. It's safe, it's comfortable, and I like it. Why change?

Sadly a lot of us share my restaurant mentality when it comes to church. We want to sing the same four or five songs (all in the same style) and hear the same three or four sermons (all from the same New Testament books) week after week and month after month. Why? It's safe, it's comfortable, and we like it. The same goes for church programs. Why start new classes or new outreach ministries when we like what we have -- even if no one outside of the church does? And so every time we come to church, we don't even bother looking at the menu. We know what we're here to get.

There's nothing wrong with having favorite hymns or a favorite sermon topic. There is something wrong, though, when all we want is what we already have and no one new cares for it. Churches shouldn't cater to every whim of a random guy off the street, but we shouldn't completely ignore that input, either. We all know what it takes for us to attend a church; do we know what it would take for other people? Are we willing to find out?

Be willing to order something new off the church menu. It may be terrible, something you'll never do again. But it may be that perfect recipe for which you've been searching all your life.

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