Tired of Church

Tired of Church

A few days ago I had a long discussion with yet another person who is disillusioned with church. My friend still participates in church but knows several in his community that have given up. They haven’t given up on God just the church.

I imagine there are several sources for the current level of discontent. I have identified two that I resonate with.

In church we can convince ourselves that we are accomplishing something when in reality we are accomplishing the opposite. We have meetings with no fellowship, teaching without learning, preaching without change, and leaders with no vision. It is like we are smoking to cure our cancer. People leave church because they want what church is supposed to be but have given up on finding it in the institution.

The trend of churches to base their ministry on felt needs has turned church members in to ministry consumers. While this does attract people it isn’t really what many are looking for. There is a real yearning to be part of God’s grand purpose. People want to commit but deep down they don’t believe that our institutions are serving a purpose that is greater than our own comfort or glory.

In my personal journey I’ve gone through a number of phases. At first I had a deep and abiding passion for the church and I wanted to see it change. Next I became disillusioned and distrustful of any form of organized religion. Church became a non issue for me. My personal study lead me to conclude that even the New Testament church had some organization. There are things the church can do better when it’s organized. I’m back to caring about the institutional church.

Not every disillusioned person leaves the church. Some provide real leadership and create pockets of true community inside the broader scope of the organization. These people give many a reason to stay. I commend these people because sometimes they get little help.

I’m still stumped on how a group of Christians can become an authentic faith community without getting lost in the common trappings of church life.

  1. #1 by rachel c on November 24, 2002 - 5:33 pm

    ahh you express what i feel inside.

    another disillusioned christian who longs for real community.

  2. #2 by Brendan on November 24, 2002 - 8:56 pm

    A number of us have been on a similar journey that has led to frustration with the Institutional Church. I might add that I have been a faithful supporter of the institutional church for nearly 30 years so this process has taken some time!

    Nine months ago, six of us started a house church. There are now a dozen of us, and we are learning what it means to develop and build a real sense of Christian community. I can highly recommend Wolfgang Simpsons book “Houses that Change the World” as a place to start.

    Best wishes for the journey.

  3. #3 by Carol on November 25, 2002 - 10:21 pm

    What is ‘church?’ Jesus said, “…upon this rock I will build my church.”
    WE are that church. “And now God is building you, as living stones, into his spiritual temple.” (1 Peter 2:5)
    Why do people attend the ‘institutional church’? Why do people leave? If people are trying to serve the ‘institution’ and have their needs fulfilled by it, they have totally missed the point. Our focus is not to be on the ‘institution’. We are to follow hard after God and HE will build HIS church.
    But, do people really want to follow after God no matter what? It involves sacrifice and being uncomfortable. It is much easier to follow an ‘institution’, but the ‘institution’ will never answer our hearts’ desire.

  4. #4 by Frank Doiron on November 26, 2002 - 5:25 pm

    Is it possible for your friend to contact these other people and simply meet with them and build relationships (in the home)? Brendan Where are you from?

  5. #5 by cathy on January 11, 2003 - 8:35 pm

    Are you the church your looking for?
    You must ask your self that Question.

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