Full Service or Self Service?


Remember back in the day when every gas station (filling station) was a “Full-service” gas station?

Although the full-service gas station is not totally extinct, most people would be surprised to know that some still exist in some cities (mostly well to do communities) across the United States. The convenience of pulling up to the gas station and having the option to sit in your car, use the service station’s restroom or go inside for a cold soda while your automobile is fueled to your desired specs makes any automobile operator feel pampered. Along with pumping fuel, also these stations were a one stop automotive care center offering assistance to customers for mechanical repairs.

The demand for lower gas prices pushed more business to the “self-serve” pump which made the “Full-service” pumps obsolete in many markets, particularly in inner-city communities and lower income areas. In most places, the “Full-service” filling stations are a relic of the far away past!

In today’s Christian house of worship we can just about ask the same question; Remember when the Christian house of worship use to predominantly be a place of service in the various cities where they are located across our great land?

“Once upon a time”, as I’ve heard many people reminisce, the house of prayer was readily accepted as a place where people would expect to find solutions for their lives, or at least this was the perception.

Today, particularly in lower income up toward middle class communities, there is less evidence in communities where churches are present, other than a building structure, of there being believers serving those communities leaving onlookers questioning if there is in fact any SERVING going on at all.

There are more modern advancements integrated into the worship gathering today than ever before with state-of-the-art lighting, sound, projector screens and even pyro-techniques as a way to enhance visual effects.

With all of the sensationalism, including some of the greatest musicians and praise & worship leaders ever on display before a ready audience of parishioners, there is still a lack of evidence of the anointing that seems to exist inside the building once the community is explored roundabout outside of the four walls of the Christian house of prayer.

Could it be that the corporate worship experience has been used as a trick of the enemy [Satan] as a type of sedation tool for much of the Body of CHRIST? Or should I ask, has the quest of looking for a “high-time in the LORD” replaced actual service?

Many churches function under an operation of planning the meeting to plan the next time to gather for corporate worship, so much so until going from house to house (Acts 2:46) becomes the objective rather than actual “Kingdom building” (as opposed to “k”ingdom building- building personal legacies). Today we have Usher board meetings, Mother’s board meetings, Deacon board meetings, Pastor’s Appreciations, Church Conventions/Anniversaries, Youth People’s meetings, prayer meetings, mid-week meetings, etc. All these gatherings we clamor for but our streets and communities scarcely see our “Full-service“!

Whereas the full-service gas stations have become scarce due to lack of demand, the full-service Body of CHRIST is and has always been in constant demand.

The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:2 KJV)

After reading this post take a moment to assess the local Christian assembly you fellowship with in juxtaposition to the community the assembly is in:

1. Is there evidence in your assembly’s community that the group of believers are present there?

2. What are some measures or activities your assembly can engage in to impact the community for CHRIST’s sake?

3. Does your assembly anonymously survey visitors to ask what inspired them most about their worship experience during their visit?

I hope the many Christian leaders who view this blog post will note areas of improvement where they hope to be more effective and if there are steps that have helped your assembly, please share in the comments below.



About chb911us

C.E. Burns Jr. is a minister of the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST , an author, a musician, a father, grandfather, who believes the only utopia humankind will ever experience is the reign of JESUS CHRIST on Earth! This is a blog to simply share a few thoughts taken from the "C.E. Burns Jr. tote bag" to share with the global cyber-community.
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