Archive for June, 2002

Struggling with Church

I’ve struggled with church right from the first day I entered a church door. In more recent times the extent of my church committment was warming a pew on Sunday morning. This was a drastic change from my early years when ministry was a main focus in my life. I relate well to those who have left the church. I’m extremely disappointed when I see Christian leaders make negative comments about those who have left behind their committment to the institutional church. Christian leaders equate Christian institutions as the only legitimate expression of church. They correctly affirm that you can’t be a Christian in isolation. Unfortunately they fail to recognize that isolation is byproduct of a church focused on numbers, programs, events or projects. People leave the church to end the isolation they feel.

Those who leave the institution don’t believe they are abandoning the church. The “church leavers” see themselves fleeing from a corrupt and polluted version of church. They want to experience a purer more genuine fellowship. One can correctly argue that you’ll never find the perfect church. However you don’t have to look very far in to history to see when the church changed society more than society changed the church. You may not find the perfect church but that doesn’t mean you can’t look for genuine fellowship.

The following are two articles which document the beliefs and experience of those who have left the church.

Ten Myths About Church Leavers

A Churchless Faith

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Interesting Meeting

I was at an interesting little meeting last night. An old pastor invited me to check it out. I was blessed by the praise/worship time. There was one aspect of the meeting that bothered me. There were people lined up talking about how great this meeting was. I don’t know what to make of this stuff sometimes.

I’ve particpated in the little charismatic group meeting before. The pattern I’ve discovered is that things often start well, but the group grows stale and becomes seemingly purposeless. As much as I have had my issues with church I see it as the only all in one solution for God’s kingdom on earth. These days I look different types of meetings and conferences and I’m just not interested anymore. I don’t really have the time or the energy to carry myself from one experience to another.

In some cases our events have become idols. We are looking towards some meeting or some annointed minister to make our lives so much better. I believe in following Jesus. Simple, straightforward, following Jesus but I’m not sure what that looks like.

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