It’s Not All About Me

So it’s a Monday.  And I’m writing this because I’m glad I went to church yesterday.  The truth is, I didn’t feel like going.  I might have even said that out loud.  See, I was not looking forward to the day.  The church I attend had its VBS all week and Sunday was Kids/VBS Sunday (I’m not sure of the exact title.)  And I didn’t want to go because I didn’t think there would be anything in the service for me.  

Terrible right?  I know.  I will get back to that horrible sentence and thought in a minute but first let me tell you what happened.  The kids sang some of the songs and put on a skit.  We watched a video recapping VBS.  And the pastor gave a short message outlining the VBS themes.  Pretty standard VBS summarizing stuff – don’t get me wrong, it was all good, but standard for this type of service.

But then I looked a little closer.  Here is what else happened.  Kids who don’t normally come to church were excited and participating.  And they had the Gospel planted in their hearts.  You never know what will come of that.  Parents showed up to support their kids and they saw smiles and encountered joy in the faces of their kids and others.  And they heard the truth shared in a clear way.  You never know what will come of that.  But wait, there’s more.


I saw good folks who had contributed time and energy in order to make the week happen.  They almost glowed.  Not because of what they had done.  But because of what God had done in them and through them.  They discovered the joy of serving.  And you never know what will come of that.  Finally, I saw newcomers walk into a church and be welcomed, included and helped.  There was a family that wasn’t sure where they could sit and the way they were helped was so cool to watch.  God’s love was shared with others and you never know what will come of that.

All good stuff right?  It was a celebration – as it should have been.  As churches we need to celebrate what God is doing in and through us more and more.  We should celebrate people who give and serve.  It was also a time of “planting seeds” – another thing we should do more of.   All good stuff.

Which brings me back to my horrible attitude.  Why didn’t I want to go?  Because I didn’t think there was going to be anything in the service for me.  I was so wrong.  There were so many reasons I needed to be there.  And I needed to be reminded of this: Heaven help us if church becomes all about me or you.  It’s easy to fall into that way of thinking.   Where we only want things “our way” and we grouse if they aren’t.  Where “what’s in it for me” replaces “I wonder what God has for us all today.”  Where we complain about the service, pick apart programs and people instead of focusing on God and what He wants to say to us or do in/through us.  Where we focus on getting instead of giving.

I need to spend less time worrying about what I want and more on looking for what God has.  

So, I am glad I went to church.  If I hadn’t gone, I would have missed something of God and something from God. And that would have been a real shame.

Marc McAlister

Director of Church Health, FMCIC     

Marc McAlister