Have it your way” was the slogan for Burger King for four decades. They wanted customers to know that they could have what they wanted. Not long ago, the company announced that they were changing their slogan slightly to “Be your way.” This was designed to reach a new generation affirming that “people should live how they want anytime; self-expression is most important.” Whether or not these slogans help sell hamburgers, they are attractive to our sinful hearts. From birth to death, we naturally want things our way.
That attitude is often brought into the church. Worshippers come with a consumer mentality. Church leaders strategize how to attract more customers. Bigger buildings, larger budgets, and more bodies are the goals. And corporate marketing is the means. Everything is evaluated so that people can have church their way.
When we open the Bible, however, we discover something very different. The church belongs to God. We are His family. And the Lord has given instructions for how He wants His children to conduct themselves in His church. The ultimate goal is God’s glory, and the means is obedience to His Word.
On Sunday mornings this fall, we will give our attention to God’s plan for His church revealed in Paul’s First Letter to Timothy. “These things I write to you…that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:14-15). Only by understanding and following God’s way for His church can we bring Him glory.