What Are Your Expectations
What do you expect? Perhaps you’ve used that phrase a time or two in your own life. We all have expectations. We have expectations of other people, organizations to which we belong, groups that we associate with, teams that we join, jobs that we do, careers that pursue, people who do work for us. I often found in Scouting that the parents who expected the most for their boys often gave the least back to the troop. It happens in churches too.
I’ve recently noticed that people’s expectations of their church can and often do get out of hand. Some people have very high expectations of their church but think the church should have very low expectations of them. It’s a strange sight from where I sit and very frustrating (not to mention unbiblical). But, sad to say it isn’t all that uncommon these days. People often want everything but expect to give nothing back in return. It doesn’t work that way, never has, never will.
What does the Bible teach us? The best place to answer that question is by looking at what Jesus expected of those who followed him. Jesus made it clear to everyone he encountered that to be one of his disciples required commitment. Jesus made it clear to people that his way wasn’t the easy way but rather the hard way. Jesus made it clear that to walk with him you had to be willing to sacrifice, be faithful and be true. Jesus made it clear that you had to be willing to change your heart and ultimately your life. Clearly Jesus expected his disciples to not only do certain things and exhibit certain behaviors but to be different people. We can’t be the same people as we would be without our faith and have our faith mean anything. That’s something non church people notice big time and in a hurry by the way. I don’t really want to be part of a church that expects nothing of its members.
There are some people who expect their church to always be there for them even though they haven’t been there for anyone else. There are some people who get offended at the idea of their church expecting anything from them. What do you think, that is the real question isn’t it? Do you think the church has a right to expect behavior changes in its members? Do you think the church has a right to expect faithful giving from its members? Do you think attending and participating in worship or bible study or Sunday School and any of the programs of the church is a reasonable expectation of the church? Do you meet your own minimal expectations?
I sometimes hear people complain that their church actually expected them to take an active role in providing ministry to people. I sometimes hear people complain that their church actually expected them to give on a regular and faithful basis. I sometimes hear people complain that their church wasn’t there for them. I wonder “if they were there for the church”. Some people expect to hear a sermon and never disagree with what the minister said. I expect the sermon to lead people to think, not necessarily agree but to think. The Board is taking a long, hard look at having membership expectations. Do you think that is unreasonable? Should we have mutual expectations of one another? What would they be, at a minimum? I’ll see you Sunday!