This isn’t profound. It ain’t rocket-science. It’s not a secret. But we pretend it is. Oh yes. Status Quo Churchianity is founded on these basic principles, which often end up becoming steps (religion does that):

1. Show up regularly at church. With bells on. And a smile. And your best “I’m doing fine” face.

2. Tithe as you can. Or not. Don’t sweat it, God’ll get ‘er done on what the other people give.

3. Serve somewhere in church. Or not (see #5).

4. Give lip service to God during the week, but mostly, live for yourself and your own priorities. Add maybe one fifteen minute prayer of desperation if things get a little too hairy for your liking, which means that your own priorities and comfort are being challenged. If you really want to feel spiritual, add one or two devotional moments where you suck back spiritual food other people have chewed for you. But no more than that. No need to get radical or anything.

5. Fill up your schedule — and I mean, right to the brim — so that you can more easily justify saying no to God, no to ministry opportunities, and no to the people in your sphere of influence that need help and Jesus. Because Jesus doesn’t really want to be your life, just a part of it.

6. Live with a vague sense of guilt and a strong dose of personal malaise. Oh well. Such is life.

7. Repeat.

Now, the scary part. Look in the mirror. Is this you? Are you okay with what you see?