Your enjoyment is related to your investment

We’re in the process of trying to get our car changed at the minute. I know some people absolutely love this stuff but, to be perfectly honest, I hate it. One of the best arguments for communism is that you get one car and that’s it. No choice. Life is made perfectly simple. If you are going through the process of changing your car, you will know what I’m talking about. Deals are totally different everywhere, lots of variables, dozens of options. It’s both overwhelming and utterly dispiriting.

The bottom line is, I’m not invested enough in what car I drive to car enough about all the options. I basically want something relatively cheap, with a decent boot, that will sync in with my phone. I don’t have many requirements to be honest.

I was speaking with someone about this the other day. They said – rightly, I think – it all depends on how invested you are in the thing you’re getting. If you are particularly into cars – as some people are – searching high and low for deals, discerning the exact car for you, getting interested in all the deals can give you a bit of a kick. If, like me, you’re just not bothered, the whole thing is a massive drag. But if we were talking about something I am really invested in, something i am desperate to get and have very particular views on, then I’m all over the research. I love investigating options and figuring out what will be best. But cars… meh.

I was set to thinking about how this plays out in the church. Some people treat the church much like I treat the search for cars. They broadly know they need one but they aren’t much interested in which one it is. They know they should get a church, but they just aren’t all that invested in it. Ultimately, they’ll go to the nearest one, or the one that broadly suits their particular criteria, and then – once they start going – that’s it. They have their church and that’s it. They will use it on a Sunday, but they’re ultimately not all that invested.

Others, however, are all over getting into the right church. They will search high and low for one that is best. They will have key requirements and make sure their church meets them. Once they find a good church, they aren’t just interested in being passengers. They are invested in it. They will work for its good and seek to make sure the church is doing all it can to love God and love its people. They are fully invested in the church because they care.

I also think, just as those who are invested in getting a great car really enjoy the process of going out to find one, so those who are really invested in the church really enjoy getting stuck in. Their investment in the good of the church, in the good of God’s people, makes a real difference to how much they ultimately enjoy church. It isn’t like cars are to me, a practical thing you need to have but is not very exciting to you. For them, it is something they are invested in, they care about, they want to get right and they want to serve to make it as good as it might be.

I am minded to think that perhaps our enjoyment of church is mainly hampered by our investment in it. If we aren’t very invested – if it is somewhere we go because we essentially think we must, but just aren’t that bothered – it can’t be that surprising if we don’t really enjoy church all that much. If we are much more invested and it is something we not only consider vital, but that will serve our good, we are much more likely to fully enjoy church as we get stuck in.

All of which is to say, I wonder what that says about how much most of us are really invested in our churches?