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Church or Country Club?

A woman I was interviewing recently told me her church was more like a country club than a church. Her comment stuck with me over the next few days and I wrote down differences between churches and country clubs. Granted, I’m not a member of a country club, and this may be terribly stereotypical. However, churches must still be unique institutions and not social clubs. Is your church operating as a country club? Here are some tests…

  • In a country club, members have the right to complain about golf course conditions, service, food, etc
  • In a church, members have the obligation not to complain, but to offer your talents, wisdom, and time to make the situation better.
  • In a country club, the most important thing is keeping the members happy so people don’t leave.
  • In a church, the most important thing is to bring new people in that haven’t yet met Christ, and disciple those in the church who have.
  • In a country club, tradition of the club trumps everything.
  • In a church, tradition can be important, but not as important as the Gospel.
  • In a country club only those who are invited are welcome.
  • In a church everyone is invited, and everyone is welcome.
  • In a country club, a member must pay dues to enjoy privileges.
  • In a church, giving is an appropriate response to God’s grace.

How does your church stack up to the test? Sadly, the woman I talked with was right about many of the churches in our country. It doesn’t have to be this way though, and it’s our job as individual Christians to set the tone for others. The world needs vibrant churches more than ever.

Nathan Ealy

Nathan spent eight years as a sports radio and television broadcaster before feeling God¹s leading towards serving churches in the area of generosity and giving, just as his father does. Nathan is in his fifth year as a Generosity Strategist, helping churches grow their generosity culture and raise money for ministry projects. Nathan and his wife Laura have two girls under the age of three, Evelyn and Charley Kate.

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