Partnership Is Not Patronage (part 1)

Partnership is not the same as patronage. The Philippians understood this and took ownership in the ministry. This is not the same as patronage. The word patronage can apply to the customer who supports an establishment by spending money there. Since the store intends to stay in business, it will offer whatever the customer wants. It exists to satisfy the perceived needs of the patron. This is fine for a good restaurant, but this sort of relationship has become common in churches. The problem is we’re not customers (or shouldn’t be). We need to be careful about giving, serving, or even attending church on the condition we get the sort of experience and customer service we think we deserve. The man who acts like a customer should not expect to be storing up anything in heaven. His only reward is the satisfaction that the church will only get what he thinks it deserves. The proper attitude sees the body of Christ as a place where we go to worship, work, serve, give, and bear fruit as a faithful example to others. This kind of loyalty overlooks the many flaws of a church filled with humans.

One thought on “Partnership Is Not Patronage (part 1)

  1. My concept of the term patronage as you used it here or to state it another way, condescension – these attitudes are incompatible with partnership and the exact polar opposite of true worship. The man seeking customer satisfaction in the church market while never surrendering his life to our loving Savior Redeemer, such a soul debases himself morally and stores up only wrath and sorrow for the eternity that will so soon begin.

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