Lack of Commitment?

Lack of Commitment?

Thousands of people have left traditional institutional Christianity and claim that they have no problems with God, just church. I feel the same way. I’ve never stopped attending church worship services. I’ve supported bible colleges and bible camps in my area.

It seems most of the current church leadership views these church leaver” types as somewhat misguided people who share in societies fear of commitment. Most, if not all institutional leaders will admit the institutional church has areas which it can improve but they see an inherent weakness in the church leaver”. They are unwilling to commit because all of North American society has shifted that way. The church leaver” is reflecting the culture of the time.

There is some obvious truth to this claim. I recognize this in my own life. I don’t understand how people can work for the same company for 30 years. I live in a world of broken trust. Families are patchworks of divorce and remarriage. Multi-billion dollar companies defraud their investors. If you aren’t watching where you place your trust you can get burned.

People don’t want to commit because they aren’t sure where they can commit. Is the organization I support more committed to our shared ideals than their own self existence? If I participate in a community will I be serving something that is greater than myself? I think people are leaving larger institutions for house churches and casual fellowships because they are attracted to something small and transparent. People want to become fully committed, but they need to know that their trust is not misplaced. In a simpler, smaller group, the shared ideals are not lost in the complexity of organized religion.

Other people leave institutions because there is a considerably negative affect on their spiritual and emotional life and need to leave for their own good. It is funny how so many people view the church leaver” as some disgruntled church folk who can’t handle the humanity of church. Undoubtedly this is the case for many. However many people leave the church because they prefer spiritual life over death. It’s not about having a perfect church. It’s about coming out in better shape than you came in.

I’ve never really been a church leaver” in a technical sense. I’ve consistently attended worship services and volunteered my time in different capacities. Every time I try to go deeper and commit myself I find it very difficult. Not because it’s imperfect but because I think my resources can be better utilized in a different context. ROI” is a common business term. It means return on investment. If church was a business and spiritual fruit were the currency I’d have to conclude that there is to much overhead in church ministry. It takes too much to produce so little. We don’t recognize this because we think numbers, programs and facilities are currency in the kingdom of God.

  1. #1 by Susan L. Prince on January 24, 2003 - 11:26 am

    I think you make an excellent observation with this post. I also think the lack of committment on the part of so many is what leads to the downfall of a church, business, or a relationship. To make any of these things work, it takes committment.

  2. #2 by Mark Trew on January 24, 2003 - 11:03 pm


    I would agree with you that lack of commitment hurts relationships and even communal relatioships but LT has a point about the reason for lack of commitment. If it was a question of laziness or coldness, then your point is well received. I believe that the point is that very often we are not convinced that the ministry that we are committing ourselves too is fruitful. Committing may bring about lasting change but how often does committing simply perpetuate the ineffective programs that already exist. Not all programs are fruitless and not all organizations have missed the boat but consider the number of churches that are barely marking up attrition rates in their churches and not changing what needs to be changed to see fruit arise: prayer, humility, community and commitment to reach to out (to name a few).

    Lack of commitment hurts the Church but we have to ask why there is a lack of commitment. Could it be that we are not reaching maturity in faith and that much of the Church is still suckling at the breast of the local congregation. Believers are longing to go beyond the toddler stage in the faith but the systems that are in place do not lend to the type of growth that is necessary for believers to walk with God rather than crawl or be carried.

  3. #3 by scott derksen on January 28, 2003 - 2:45 pm

    Hey bud, I just want to encourage you in the continuance of this website. I search the web sometimes for honest material for Bible studies or sermons and usually get tired of looking through all the tripe I find. thehersey is refreshing and real (maybe I’m a little biased because we’re friends) and I find a lot of truth here. This is coming from someone getting paid in a full-time minsitry position. Let me reassure you, the problems of church don’t lessen on the “inside”. But there is a lack of commitment of any kind (except to play or coach basketball) that is discouraging to those in leadership positions in churches and christian organizations (particularly among men) that is incredibly frustrating. Well, Hope to see you soon big guy. Iggy pop!

    Scotty D

    Gal. 2:20

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