Waffle House doesn’t exist for itself. It exists for others. It creates unique experiences, not for the sake of uniqueness, but to feed others.
The church is no different. We receive people in, and we send them out. We take in resources and we get rid of them. We invite people to dine at the table, and then we kick them out the door to share what they have experienced. Creating a church isn’t the end. It is a means to bless and serve the world. A church that takes in people but does not share the experience of good food with them, is not going to be “in business” for long. Churches whose attendees receive food but aren’t invigorated enough to encourage others to come to the table, aren’t going to last. There is giving and taking, receiving and sharing.
Here is what sometimes happens, I think: Churches become narcissistic and self-centered. They focus all of their energy and resources upon themselves, leaving little if anything at all, for the greater community. But the church was never intended to be a self-absorbed, therapeutic organization where its members are obsessed with navel gazing or obsessing about their own spiritual needs. Churches were never meant to devolve into collections of self-interested people looking for their next spiritual spoon-fed meal or having their “needs met.” The church is not a “What’s in it for me?” society. The church is here for others, for the community, and for the world.
The above post is an excerpt from Ronnie’s latest book, “The Gospel According to Waffle House” now available at Amazon.