Church - QfamilyBoy do I remember Easter Sunday growing up. All it takes is a flip through my Mom’s old photo albums looking at the pictures taken of me with my gloves—YEP little white gloves—my paten leather shoes, my frilly yellow dress, bonnet, and of course my Easter basket! Woah!
You know, Easter Sunday has one of the highest attendance records of any service of the year in most churches. Some people go to church only at Christmas and Easter and I read that those types of churchgoers are known as CEO’s which stands for Christmas and Easter Only!
But on the flip side, there are many, many people who go to church consistently as a source of strength and community. In fact—for black people—our faith, our values and beliefs have roots firmly entrenched in the church. For decades, the Black church has been THE place that the Black community relied on.
But I’m wondering if things are changing? Do you think we’ve gotten to a place in which we’ve gone OVERBOARD with our church connection?
There’s a brand new addiction surfacing that I want to talk about tonight. It’s called CHURCH ADDICITON. Mad Church Disease is on the rise ya’ll! Church Addicts are at church almost every time the church is open, working, serving, ministering regardless of the cost to one’s family, job, health or social life.
HOW MUCH is TOO MUCH when you’re talking about church? Is there such a thing as being “addicted” to ministry?
In an article entitled “IS THE CHURCH AN ADDICTIVE ORGANIZATION?” I was fascinated by the author’s discussion of churches in the 21st Century. Anne, the author, talks about a minister’s adult daughter who said, “my Dad was never home…he was always working for the church…even when he was home, he was “in the study” and we kids were not allowed to disturb him. If any of us complained about never seeing him, this minister’s daughter said, he always had the excuse that he was doing “the Lord’s work.”
I do believe that people equate their work in the church to working for the Lord. And THAT’S where the problem begins. Does the Lord require work for Him in the church? What about if you have a spouse or children or a job, how much is TOO much when it comes to church?
Now before you label me anti-church, or worse, anti-Christ or anti-God, please know that in just about four weeks I’m graduating from Seminary with a Master’s in Practical Theology. I’m a chaplain in a hospital here in Atlanta and for years I was on staff at an Atlanta-area church. I raise these questions and this provocative discussion out of deep concern for church and for those attending and professing the need for faith and God in their lives.
I want to know have we and are we crossing the proverbial line from good intentions into addiction? Have we become addicted to the “feelings” that we get in OUR CHURCH? The music, the tradition, the history or celebrity? How much is TOO MUCH when it comes to “THE LORD’S WORK” in our churches?
We’ve got to be able to look into our own mirrors and ask the tough questions. I can’t help but wonder what’s happening if our families end up feeling like that minister’s daughter felt? Let me tell you what she said in conclusion in that article. She said, “My dad, the minister, was respected for being a hard worker, but he was never loved.” She said, “He died in his late 40s and no one ever knew him. He did not really serve Christ or the church. I now know, she said, he served his disease.”
Wow. If MINISTER’S can be addicted to church and church work, what about the rest of us? Are we so bent on serving in church and serving the church that we are actually fulfilling our own needs instead of God’s?
If you’re maintaining a high level of activity in your church—but your kids are not being cared for or don’t ever see you, that’s a problem. If your bills are going unpaid because you’re supporting the church financially and you are in danger of losing your home or lights, THAT’S A PROBLEM. If you feel like you have no value unless you’re serving within the church, THEN SOMETHING IS WRONG!
I am your chief empowerment officer JENNIFER KEITT. Listen to the show HERE.
You can take the church addiction QUIZ for free. Just download the ToolKEITT from my website at The Jennifer Keitt Show airs every Sunday 7-8 pm on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B.