The Day After New Years (FAQ Part 5)
It’s day 2 of 2013 and how do you feel? I bet most of us are setting goals for the year. What are your New Year’s resolutions?
Mine are simple. #1 Continue a healthy and balanced life and #2 Develop super powers.
Ok maybe #2 is unrealistic but it sure would be cool to have them. =)
In the next series of FAQ from So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore, the author will share what we’re truly missing when we place “unrealistic” expectations on a ‘church’. [View the full article]
#10 – Are you looking for the perfect church?
No, and I don’t anticipate finding one this side of eternity. Perfection is not my goal, but finding people with God’s priorities. It’s one thing for people to struggle toward an ideal they share together. It’s another to realize that our ideals have little in common.
I make no secret of the fact that I am deeply troubled by the state of organized Christianity. Most of what we call ‘church’ today are nothing more than well-planned performances with little actual connection between believers. Believers are encouraged toward a growing dependency on the system or its leadership rather than on Jesus himself. We spend more energy conforming behavior to what the institution needs rather than helping people be transformed at the foot of the cross!
I’m tired of trying to fellowship with people who only view church as a two-hour a week dumping ground for guilt while they live the rest of the week with the same priorities as the world. I’m tired of those who depend on their own works of righteousness but who have no compassion for the people of the world. I’m tired of insecure people using the Body of Christ as an extension of their own ego and will manipulate it to satisfy their own needs. I’m tired of sermons more filled with the bondage of religion than the freedom of God’s love and where relationships take a back seat to the demands of an efficient institution.
#11 – But don’t our children need church activities?
I’d suggest that what they need most is to be integrated into God’s life through relational fellowship with other believers. 92% of children who grow up in Sunday schools with all the puppets and high-powered entertainment, leave ‘church’ when they leave their parents’ home? Instead of filling our children with ethics and rules we need to demonstrate how to live in God’s life together.
Even sociologists tell us that the #1 factor in determining whether a child will thrive in society is if they have deep, personal friendships with nonrelative adults. No Sunday school can fill that role. I know of one community in Australia who after 20 years of sharing God’s life together as families could say that they had not lost one child to the faith as they grew into adulthood. I know I cut across the grain here, but it is far more important that our children experience real fellowship among believers rather than the bells and whistles of a slick children’s program.
#12 – What dynamics of body life do you look for?
I’m always looking for a people who are seeking to follow the Living Christ. He is at the center of their lives, their affections and their conversation. They look to be authentic and free others to hurt when they hurt, to question what they question and to follow his voice without others accusing them of being divisive or rebellious. I look for people who are not wasting their money on extravagant buildings or flashy programs; where people sitting next to each other are not strangers; and where they all participate as a priesthood to God instead of watch passively from a safe distance.
Being in the “Bible Belt” there is an abundance of local churches to choose from. I do believe we all have different styles of learning and worshiping. Some like a good hell-fire preaching and others like topics with funny illustrations. There are churches that will have a morning service with traditional worship music and alternate service(s) for contemporary style songs. Many like large churches so they can sneak off after the service. Many like small group settings so they can get to know others. Lord willing, I’ll do a chapter by chapter series on the Book of Acts to see how they did ‘church’ back then and how it applies today.
But no matter what style or building structure, when believers gather (such as on a Sunday or mid-week service) it’s like being in a locker room. Jesus is the head coach, the leadership are the assistant coaches and those in the pews are the players. Now let’s huddle up and go out into the field…and kick Satan’s tail!
Give Me a J- E- S- U- S
Jeremy Camp – Give Me Jesus
Beckah Shae – Stand (Scripture Snack)
Beckah Shae – Like A Child
Beckah Shae – Choose Life
(The above videos are part of the post. I don’t have control of the advertisements they place below this page.)