Josh Harris on characteristics of a “church-dater”:
Well, I hone in on three things. First, being “me”-centered, meaning what can I get out of this church, what does it have for me, what can it do for me.
A second one would be being independent. Going to church because that’s what we do, that’s what we’ve always done, but not really looking to involve others in our lives and say, “Here’s who I am, I need help.” But instead, “It’s me and Jesus, and I come to church like a person goes to the gas station to fill up once a week or something. But this is not where I live my life. I don’t open myself up to others and become dependent on others.”
And then finally, I would add a church dater is often critical. And so there’s this mindset of “Here’s what the church is doing wrong, here’s where it can be improved, and I’m sitting in the back evaluating. But I’m not getting my hands dirty and saying how can I contribute to the solution and really help what’s really going on here.”
I would say that I’ve been guilty of all of these three things at different times in my life. And I think that every single person — whether we’re the most committed, active member of a church or not — should really check ourselves all the time for these three qualities and say, “You know, I want to turn away from that. I want to be God centered and other centered. I want to show up at church saying what can I give? I want to be dependent on these people. I want to keep in my mind the fact that I need others to live the Christian life, and I don’t want to be critical. Yes, there are always going to be problems in churches, but I want to participate in helping the church grow stronger.” (more)