Three Types of People in Church

Every Sunday, the local church is filled with people from all walks of life, and various reasons for attending. When you boil it down, there are three types of people who attend church.

1. Ticket to Heaven

Whether it was at a church youth group or summer camp, or some special event, this person hears the Gospel and realizes they need to make some changes in their life. So, they pray the Sinner’s prayer in one form or fashion. They acknowledge their sin, and that Jesus is the only way to be forgiven, promising them a way to heaven. That was me at age 12. It all finally clicked. I understood the Gospel and turned to Jesus.

One problem

There was no measurable commitment to a lifestyle and relationship with Jesus. Life went on as usual for me. In fact, it got worse. Middle school became this tornado of new emotions, choices, and changes. I showed up for church, but as far as I was concerned, Jesus was just a ticket to heaven while I did my thing. 

2. Checklist People

Faith is a list of items to do or control for these folks, without any real commitment to Jesus. It’s about religion, not a relationship with the Lord. An older man attended a particular church his entire life; decades. He saw what was once a vibrant church slowly dwindle into a handful of parishioners. Everyone was at their station every Sunday. Finally, the church got so small they decided to rent out portions of the building converting some of it into apartments; just to stay financially solvent. They did all the right religious things, but it didn’t get them very far. 

3. Everything on the Table

Ok, these are the ones who, to the Ticket to Heaven and the Checklist People, come across as crazy; wacko, and way too into Jesus. The reality is the Everything on the Table folks is into total sacrifice. Total renouncement of anything that does not bring glory to God. They are not legalistic (that’s for the checklist folks). Nor are they at church just to get to heaven. These folks see what ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for them and are willing to surrender their all, to be in a relationship with Him. 

I’d like to think I’m an Everything on the Table guy. I’d like to think that I’m sold out 100% to Jesus.  Truth be known, that is my desire and although I am nowhere near perfect in being all in with Jesus, I am walking in that direction.

Next time

You go to church, do NOT place people in a category, thinking they are in one of these three. Instead, be focused on where you are in your spiritual journey, and with all humility of heart, seek to be all in with the Lord.

In the end, that’s what matters.

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

Comments are closed.