Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Why Bother with Church?

This is a question a lot of Christians are asking, according to a recent poll. ABP News has the story here. I have been thinking about the significance of this finding and how I have encountered the same thinking as a church planter here in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. I have run into plenty of people out there who are professing followers of Jesus and are happy to live for God apart from attending their local church. Their reasons for not attending are diverse, some of which are legitimate (esp. those that involve being abused/mistreated by the very people who claim to love like Jesus) and others just excuses for not gathering with others. I do believe that the best way to follow Jesus, and the way he intended, is in the kind of community Jesus intended when he commissioned his disciples to be his body in the world. I am currently reading through--and enjoying--Brian McLaren's The Secret Message of Jesus. I just read the following (p.83) , which made me think of the aforementioned ABP article.
In this way, the influence of Jesus may be as strong outside of some religious institutions as inside--and maybe even stronger. This may even help explain why church attendance has been plummeting in Europe and in many parts of the United States. When Christianity sees itself more as a belief system or set of rituals for the select few and less as a way of daily life available to all, it loses the "magic" of the kingdom.


Anonymous Peter said...

I have been going through a lot of the same questions recently. I think its important that believers have a community of believers to hold them accountable and encourage them to grow in faith. (Biblically this is what the church is)

The question for me is does it have to be as rigid as traditional sunday morning 11am 'church'.

I have a feeling being Christian means a little more than that. We need to be living active Christians lives 7 days a week, not once a week. We need to be the church and not worry about going to church.

That all being said, some people use this an as excuse to live a lazy and comfortable life. We need to make sure we know why people are not in sunday morning services. And if they are not, get them in something meaningful where they can grow.

Peter Lublink (Canada)

4/29/2006 04:36:00 PM  

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