A few years back I was visiting a McDonalds in the south suburbs of Chicago where I lived. I placed my order, and immediately was drawn to a sign on the french fry warmer that said “Fluff, Don’t Stuff” in large capital letters. The first thought I had was, “Why is this sign in a place that the customers can see that they are ripping us off?” What they were essentially saying was, “Put less fries in, but make it look like they are getting more than what they are by fluffing them up.”
I immediately told the employee helping me that I wanted stuffed fries, not fluffed fries. After all, I wanted my monies-worth of artery-clogging goodness!
I am not sure what brought that back to my mind a few days ago. What is worse than remembering, is that I cannot get it out of my head, hence the reason for this post. Maybe it will go away once I push “Publish!”
Anyways, the reason it has stuck with me is because I think many churches and up doing the same thing. There is a lot of talk and hype about how great the church is, how they are reaching people and how God is changing lives, but it is actually fluff. The church is deceiving itself into thinking that something good is happening, when in reality they are not growing, not reaching, and not seeing people’s lives changed.
You see, if you actually looked deeper into the church, you would see that no one has given their life to Christ in a long time (outside of kids in Jr Church), there is no community outreach at all, and really, no one has seen anyone that has gotten so close to Jesus that their life has been changed: No marriages restored, no relationships mended, no attitudes adjusted… nothing. Life change has been equated to attendance at Ladies Meetings and the number of people that are in counseling with the pastor. Not that either are bad mind you…
Life change is what happens when Jesus gets a hold of you, and you no longer are who you used to be, but God’s love and mercy are evident in your life and poured out to others through you. Life change is what happens when people come face to face with the God of the Bible and realize that He loves them and that the love He has for them is all they need. Life change is me becoming more and more like Jesus and sharing what I have with others so that their lives can be changed too.
This can be uncomfortable for a church because it means at times we have to admit that we are not seeing much happen, and then we have to address why. it is easier to be comfortable, sit back and hype the next activity as a life changing event. But that just does not work. Look around you. Is God working? Really working. If not, ask Him to start by changing and using you.
Forget the fluff…