We pour into our churches on Sundays, lock the doors, and sell candy to one another. The sugar high exhilarates but by the parking lot the high subsides to a low and the energy turns to lethargy. What’s worse is that our neighbors watch us come out looking more infirm than when we went in. And we wonder why they want nothing to do with us or our religion.
That first kind of candy store church doesn’t have customers per se. They don’t care to share, but keep the sweet pretty much in-house. There are some candy store churches that will share their candy with the community, but the only way they know how to do it is to expect people to come to their store location during business hours. They make people wait till the precise Sunday morning moment when they crack the door open as they slip in. Visitors are welcome, but the window of time is brief. But if they’re lucky enough to get in, the best they can expect is to join the weekly in-house candy sale.
Some other candy store churches really do want to expand their businesses. They advertise superior confections to the other stores in town. Their ingredients are sweeter and more natural than everyone else’s. They follow the recipe for the best candy more meticulously than their competitors. We have candy store wars, each one vying for a larger share of the market. Hmmm?
Other sugar-laden congregations, instead of staying sequestered in their stores, actually venture out with sweets to share. They spread samples far and wide inviting the community in for more. Some of them sponsor tantalizing sales on their tasty products. Other stores follow suit and candy store price wars ensue. What once was quite costly now hardly requires any investment at all. Cheap candy replaced expensive confections, which replaced healthy food.
i like candy as much as the next guy, but there’s gotta be something better. Yes?
Some food for thought:
Is ours merely a confectionary Christianity – sweet to the taste with a brief buzz to follow?
In our locked sanctuaries are we just passing back and forth to one another what we already know to be true?
Do we want our church to advance Christ’s influence in our community or are we just trying to beat out the competition?
Are we affecting any actual net growth of the kingdom of God when we improve the packaging of our product only to induce people from the church down the street to shop at our church?
Does what we produce, fawn over, and sell to one another generate anything but feeble health for us and anyone outside our store’s four walls?
Do we have anything actually nourishing to offer starving people?
Are we trying to enhance people’s lives and thus boost the quality of our communities or do we feed them the diabetic’s diet just to entice them to come back to next week’s candy sale?
When our sugar high abates does our sweetness of spirit linger, or are we even more irritable and ill-mannered candy salespersons than before?
Shouldn’t our diet-induced social, psychological, and spiritual health be as much of an advertisement as anything claim we could make in defense of our product?
Comments – sweet, bitter, or otherwise? Suggestions for alternatives?