The Preference-Driven Church

A church cannot survive long-term where members are focused on their own preferences, including:

  • My style of music.
  • My style of teaching/learning.
  • My desired length and order of worship service.
  • My desired color and design of the building and rooms.
  • My activities and programs.
  • My need of ministers and staff.
  • My, my, my.

A church cannot survive long-term where members are focused on their own preferences!

Read Philippians 2:1-8

Is this a description of Jesus or an example for us to follow?

This passage teaches us that…

  • We are to be servants.
  • We are to be obedient.
  • We are to put others first.
  • We are to do whatever it takes to seek the best for others.
  • We are to have the attitude of Christ.

What did Jesus do?

  • He did not consider equality with God something to be used for His own advantage.
  • He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave.
  • He humbled Himself.
  • He became obedient to the point of death—even to death on the cross.

In the Case Study we talked about earlier, what indication was there that the any of the church members had such a self-sacrificial attitude?  Instead, the attitude was self-serving, self-giving, and self-entitled.  It was about me, myself and I.  Selfish people ultimately end up alone.  The same is true for selfish churches.  (Carey Nieuwhof)

Attitude is Everything… What is my attitude?

Attitude #1 – “We Can v. We Can’t”

Attitude #2 – “Them v. Us”

Attitude #3 – “Principles v. Preferences”

Biblical principles and values must be the drivers for change—not the preferences of any one person or group!

Attitude #4 – “Proactive v. Reactive”

Attitude #5 – “Now v. Eventually”


What are some areas where we, as church members, insist or demand our own preferences?  A church by definition is a body of believers who function for the greater good of the congregation.  In essence, when church members increasingly demand their own preferences, the church is steadily not becoming the church, and the church will eventually die because its members refused to be the church.

What should we do today in response to this message?

  • Rethink WHO we are trying to reach.
  • Rethink HOW we can get the message out.
  • Rethink WHAT makes our church attractive.
  • Rethink WHY we need to put others’ needs first.

Our prayer today should be…

Lord, open my eyes to the needs of others.  Show me how to live more like your Son, who always put others’ interests first.  And especially show me that attitude as I serve You here at Temple Baptist Church.  Amen.

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