I found this advertisement at the bottom of this webblog entry in an issue of JB Dollar Stretcher Magazine. If you look at the part I circled, you will see the church offering rewards for bringing visitors to their church. As I’m reading the ad, I’m wondering if I am eligible for bringing the most visitors as a visitor. I wonder what kind of CD’s you get, and thinking about which gift certificate I would take (probably Bob Evans). If I won, who would I take to the restaurant? Are these type of motivations healthy for a church? Are they even effective? I would find it interesting to know how many people got involved. Is this simply a fun competition? Does this type of motivation bring spiritual vitality? It seems like it is a special event for the church so I don’t think they are doing this every week. If we offered a $20 gift certificate to Chipotle for the person to brought the most people to CT one week or perhaps the Xenos Summer Institute, would people respond?
Motivation is something I have been thinking about recently because I am finding out that being motivated by pleasing others does not work in the long run. I have found myself doing it often during my spiritual walk. I often have tried to "look good" by consistently attending meetings and events and performing acts of service. This type of motivation may work in the short run and in certain situations. Sometimes the job gets done regardless of the motivational reasons. When there is too much of this, it stops working. I am trying to make a transition to being motivated by God more often than not. Being motivated by others worked for a while, but it’s not working anymore. I have acceptance in the Body of Christ. I have been outside of the mentality of the kosmos that wants people to please each other for acceptance. I guess this is no longer motivation for me. I need to work for God only. As long as he knows about my deeds and something serves him, that is all I need. I don’t need to fool anyone in the Body of Christ. I guess when working with God, the gratification sometimes can be delayed or difficult to see.
This may be unrelated but makes me think of a paradox in the kosmos. There is a "I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine" mentality, but how does that ever happen if it requires someone to make the first step? I the motivating for making the first step in "serving" in the kosmos is a reasonable guarantee of something in return, or at least a gamble that seems worth it.
I think Paul tells us that we should not judge motives. So, what is more important? The motivation or the results?
1 Corinthians 4:2-5
2 In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.
3 But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself.
4 For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.
5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.