We live in a consumer culture. Each day we are treated as a customer, and this leads us to believe we are entitled to have all of our “needs” met.
In the Church this plays out when people think it exists to “serve me and my needs. The community should not tell me what to do–that is up to me.” But in reality, the Church community exists to shape and guide my soul. The community has a right to expect certain behavior from me, and can provide the encouragement and accountability I need.
Transformation into Christlikeness has been the aim and responsibility of the Church from its beginning.
The soul-shaping role of the Church is not just for our own spiritual nurture. It is meant to propel us out into mission.