Kazimierz Bem asserts that service, though vital, can’t be all that the Church is about:
The endless call for more volunteers, more mission projects, more social justice, more calls to action will sooner or later exhaust our members and us. They will come, join us for one project, and then burn out and leave us, never to return. That’s not a future — that’s self-destruction. As Richard Niebuhr once wrote, “If a church has no other plan of salvation than to offer men than one of deliverance by force, education, idealism (…) it really has no existence as a church and needs to resolve itself into a political party or school.”
His riff on why worship should have pride of place in the Christian life:
When people sometimes tell me they don’t get anything from worship, I am happy to answer, “That’s great! Because its not about you.” Our culture needs a place — we need a place in our lives — to tell us that not everything is always about us, about our personal happiness, our convenience, our frantic timetables, or shrinking commitments.
Some things are bigger than us. There needs to be a place where we are told uncomfortable truths about ourselves, our world and even about God — where we ask the questions our pop culture ignores or caricatures, and where we can look for answers. Where we pause — and reflect theologically.