Why We Still Need the Church | echurchGiving Blog

Why We Still Need the Church

The church is always in danger of being ditched as a superfluous burden. The church is always just about to be jilted. The church is always down in the count and on the verge of striking out. The church is never as beautiful and winsome as Jesus, and at every moment the disillusioned are composing their “Dear John” letters:

Dear Church,
I really like Jesus, but I can do without you. So I’m moving on.
Goodbye.
Sincerely,
Disappointed Christian

Each year approximately 2.7 million people in America cease to be active church members. With Christians steadily departing the church, churches are steadily disappearing. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 4,000 churches close every year. For every new church plant, four churches close. Not long ago my wife and I ate at a trendy restaurant that had once been a church. We sat in pews that now served as seating for diners. The food was excellent, but for me there was something sad about it all.

Is It Personal?

On some levels, I understand the impulse to walk out on the church. The church can be petty and difficult and sometimes just plain dumb. So the idea of being a Christian without the church can have a kind of romantic appeal. “Just me and Jesus, some good books, and a few close friends. That’s all I want, that’s all I need.”

But is it true? Is the church redundant, outdated and unnecessary—or do we still need the church?

Ultimately every person is the final arbiter on whether or not the church is relevant; I concede that. And though I am deeply suspicious that it is possible to actually flourish as a Christian apart from the nurturing soil of the church, I understand that some may not personally need the church. But there is one point I will not concede and of which I am absolutely certain: The world needs the church.

Why the world still needs the church is because a world without the church will soon be a world without Christ. This is a fact and there is no way around it. Despite all of its flaws and failures, the church has been and remains that which keeps the story of Jesus alive. If the story of Jesus is to be found in our world—the gospel story of his birth, his life, his teachings, his miracles, his death and resurrection—it is because the church keeps telling this sacred story.

How a World without the Church Would Look

We can’t just blithely say, “Well, we have the Bible.” The gospel story of Jesus does not remain in and travel around the world through the Bible alone. The Bible does not sustain the church, rather the church sustains the Bible. It’s the church that composes, canonizes, translates, prints, distributes, and interprets the Bible. Without the living presence of the church, the Bible would become an irrelevant artifact of little interest to anyone but academic scholars and antiquarians. Without a living church to maintain engagement with the sacred text, the Bible becomes a dead book.

What the Church Needs from Us and Why

The world still needs the church to keep singing its songs and telling its stories. The world needs the presence of people whose lives are shaped by the death, burial, and resurrection narrative of baptism. This secular world needs the presence of sacrament and the sacred story it enacts. The world of cynical commerce and cut-throat competition needs our flawed little churches with their Christmas programs and Easter pageants, their archaic steeples and quaint stained glass, their different kinds of sanctuaries and their all-the-same fellowship halls. The world needs churches gathering in storefronts and cathedrals. The world needs communities to dedicate babies, baptize believers, marry lovers, and bury the dead. Yes, our world still needs our churches because the church alone keeps alive the story of Jesus.

So even if I reach the point where I feel like I’m fed up with the church (because I’m fed up with people), I will always stick with the church. I’ll do it because the church needs me to do my part to keep it viable so it can continue to tell the Jesus story. I refuse to succumb to the temptation to think in purely individualistic terms. That would be a selfishness incompatible with following Christ. If the church had not carried its gospel story and sacred text from generation to generation, century to century, I could never have had a saving encounter with Jesus Christ. For the gift of the gospel story I am forever indebted to the church. So let me come right out and say it: I love the church. I love the church because I love Jesus. As long as the world needs Jesus, it will need the church. And the church needs you and me to do our part.

So even if someday I am no longer a pastor, I’ll always remain a church member. I’ll support the church. I’ll be there on Sundays. I’ll give to help keep the church financially viable. I’ll encourage the pastor. I’ll strive to preserve the unity of the church. To do these things is pleasing to God and good for my soul. I know this. But I’ll also do it for the sake of my grandchildren. I want to do what I can to help make Christianity possible for my grandchildren and their generation. In an increasingly secular age, the church is an oasis of the sacred. It’s the continued presence of the church that makes Christianity possible.

 

Why 80 Percent Don't Give

 

 

Brian Zahnd is the founder and lead pastor of Word of Life Church, a non-denominational church in St. Joseph, Missouri. He is also the author of several books, including A Farewell To Mars and Beauty Will Save the World.

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Showing 36 comments
  • David

    Thanks Brian. These words speak into my situation in life right now and the back-and-forth frustration I’ve had with the “church”. But for all the frustration, I’ve never thought about completely walking away because I know deep down inside that, despite all the flaws I see or ways I’ve been hurt, it is that “oasis of the sacred” – awesome; love that word picture 🙂

    • Derek Gillette

      Thanks for the comment David. It was an honest expression of where you’re at – really appreciate the dialogue. And I agree, the idea of a sacred oasis is a powerful one. I pray peace into your situation.

      -Derek

  • Shea

    Honestly, the world most needs a church that is not fashioned after the world. If the church becomes a silly imitation of corporations, social clubs, political insurgencies, activist groups, etc (in other words, if it just a ‘christian’ version of what the world has to offer) than perhaps it should meet the sharp end of a shovel. If there are no longer actually two cities, there is no longer two citizenships, no longer two loves – just a solitary beast with a dusty wardrobe which the angels will not distinguish between.

    “Two loves make two cities
    These are the two loves: the first is holy, the second foul; the first is social, the second selfish; the first consults the common welfare for the sake of a celestial society, the second grasps at a selfish control of social affairs for the sake of arrogant domination; the first is submissive to God, the second tries to rival God; the first is quiet, the second restless; the first is peaceful, the second trouble-making; the first prefers truth to the praises of those who are in error, the second is greedy for praise, however it may be obtained; the first is friendly, the second envious; the first desires for its neighbor what it wishes for itself, the second desires to subjugate its neighbor; the first rules its neighbor for the good of its neighbor, the second for its own advantage; and these two loves produce a distinction among the angels: the first love belongs to the good angels, the second to the bad angels; and they also separate the two cities founded among the race of men, under the wonderful and ineffable Providence of God, administering and ordering all things that have been created: the first city is that of the just, the second is that of the wicked. “

  • Danny

    I agree with you Brian that the world needs the church, but is the church that is present in its institutional form the same church that Jesus desired to represent Him? I think that we can get caught up in thinking that the institutional church that exists is what Jesus intended thus we pour our blood ,sweat and tears out to feed a machine that has nothing to do with Jesus but exists to perpetuate its own agenda that has some simibilace to what Jesus taught. I think of the words of Peter who stated that we are the living stones that make up the church. I believe Christians are leaving the institutional church in search of fellow living stones that will be the Church.

    • Derek Gillette

      Hi Danny, thanks for the comment. We’re hearing feedback like this from quite a few readers of this post. People who believe in Jesus and the idea of the church, but maybe not in the traditional institutional church. Thanks for adding to the conversation Danny.

      Are you a part of a church currently or a gathering of people doing life together? I’d be interested to hear more about it and any results you’ve seen.

      • Danny Carroll

        Funny enough I am a pastor and have been in full-time vocational ministry for the past 16 years. I have planted a church in an urban setting, worked with a ministry focused on unity and pastoral health and currently serve on a staff as an associate pastor of a fast growing church.

        I am experiencing a bit f a crisis at the moment in my Christian walk. I am not having a crisis of faith, but a crisis of church. Let me clarify a little….I am fully convinced of who Jesus is and what He has done on humanities behalf. I am fully convinced of who Father God is and His heart for me. I am convinced that Father God longs to transform this culture through the radical love of Jesus. I am convinced that the Church is His chosen vessel to express His love to a world that is literally dying to experience Good News.

        I believe that we have enough history to look at the fruit of the church and judge whether we are receiving a positive return on our investment or not. Don;t get me wrong, I believe there are many beautiful things the institutional church has done through out history, but it has by no means had the measurable impact that Jesus or the disciples had (These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also… Acts17.6).

        As I have looked at this, I have come to see that the current system and institution of church is not giving us the return on our investment that we have hoped. If this were the stock market and we dumped money into a stock that was a sinking ship people would look at us and call us crazy but Christians do this every day with investing themselves into a system that is broken and quickly taking on water.

        I have tried to the best of my ability to be as open, honest and introspective (probably to a fault) with myself as possible. If this is my issue, I want to own it but I truly feel that it is time that we honestly examine what we have called the church and see if it is what Jesus has intended.

        • Derek Gillette

          I’m hoping that others who end up on this page read your comment because it’s exactly at the heart of what we’re trying to talk about here. Let’s open up a dialogue and a conversation about what the expression of church can look like across the world. There will always be a place for the local church, as you mentioned, but perhaps there’s a slight change of form that can take place.

          There’s a lot of talk recently about true church multiplication, maybe this is something to be incorporated into the church experience that unlocks new life into Jesus followers.

          Either way, the conversation is important to have and one we shouldn’t be scared to dig into.

          I really appreciate your transparency here and I do hope this causes others to reach out to you and continue the dialogue.

          I also pray that God honors your introspection with clarity and a true vision for the future.

          Thanks again Danny,
          Derek
          @derekgilletteco

        • Natalie

          Danny, your words could be my words. I too am wrestling with institutional church v the body of Christ, for anout 5 years now. I also pastored for 6 years.

          Brian’s words are the first that make any sense to me on this subject.

  • Dave

    My wife and I are Moody grads. We have always faithfully committed ourselves to our “church” wherever we have lived. I was in church leadership the last few years. Due to a progressive shift in our theological paradigm we became marginalized. That hurt. Fortunately, we moved because of a job change. Now because of work and other circumstances, we are not a part of a church community and are not actively looking to be in one. We would if we could, as I believe in the church for many of the same reasons you present here Brian. However, when the opportunity becomes available, our new community will be one where I feel I do not need to do battle over doctrine every week . I am not so much interested in having the brethren see things my way as much as I am about being in a community that is just a little more open minded and is engaged in loving the whole community and not hiding behind walls of doctrine and stone. If I could I would love to be a part of a church like WoLC.

    In limbo land,
    Dave

    • Derek Gillette

      Wow, thank you for your honesty and vulnerability Dave. I pray that you and your wife would find complete restoration and peace in your new community. I’m so sorry for the previous hurts you experienced.

      Whether you end up in a traditional church again or not, I know that God desires a daily relationship with you and has an intense love for you and your family. I hope you get to experience both of those things fully.

      I wish you all the best,
      Derek

  • Raymond Reyes

    Many Churches today, especially megachurches as previously mentioned are institutionalized and run like business’s..they try too hard to appeal to a world who is actually looking for something real and different. I like the idea of weekly gatherings, but we need communities of real transparency where you can do life together not just religious church puppets. There are very few churches like this. If we can change the way the buildings are run, or maybe even get rid of them all together (if they are a detriment) then many would come back to community..real community. I personally go to a church, but its been a struggle. Im want to become one that reflects his grace and love in a pure way, and thats hard to do when your in an evironment where performance and striving is promoted..most likely out of ignorance.

    • Derek Gillette

      I hear your comments and agree with the sentiment Raymond. Doing true community has to be the goal and one that I suppose some churches are better at fostering than others. We’ve been studying a lot about the circle of influence vs. the circle of concern and how little control we have over those things which are outside our influence.

      While we can’t solve the entire problem of community in church, what we can do is invite a couple over for dinner and cook their favorite meal and allow them to bring their kids to play with our kids. Then we can do this week after week with this couple and others. We can share life together, be vulnerable, and become the church outside of the walls of a church. This isn’t easy – and it sounds a bit cliche – but my wife and I have been trying this lately with great success.

      Thanks for reading and comment Raymond and I hope you stick around for future posts to be a part of the on-going conversation.

      -Derek

  • Jacob McMillen

    So good, and SO important! We need a Church that looks more like family, but even in it’s most dysfunctional state, it still IS our family. We need it. The world needs it.

  • Christopher Kirk

    NO Clergy. No Buildings, No Traditions, No Positions, No Programs.
    NO Problem, Must be the real Church!

    We have been meeting relationally in homes for nearly 40 years and helping
    other house churches begin for 35 years. No one gets paid and we give generously
    to those in need. In Christ we realized we were equal sibling peers with no human
    hierarchy to divide us. We are a family, not a business and Jesus is our Head. I know of 100’s of fellowships like ours around the world. It is time for the church to return to the simplicity of Christ.

  • Lindsay

    This definition of church is so narrow, and based on someones participation in attending an institutional church. My husband and I haven’t attended Sunday morning services for many years, yet we still consider ourselves part of the church; even though others who go to church don’t consider us part of their church. I’ll be honest, It’s been hard to find community and fellowship outside church buildings. We miss it terribly and want to be more involved in the church. But we don’t really fit anywhere right now. For years we attended “church” and inhaled everything we heard as “truth” and “biblical” But over the course of the last few years we have discovered that not everything we thought was true is as cut and dry as we once thought. There is a lot of interpretation being taught as “truth”. I cringe when I hear people say something is “biblical”. Our faith has grown over the past few years, we have more questions and concerns than ever, but our trust in God’s love is growing and we enjoying our relationship with God more now. But we miss people to share it with. We wouldn’t mind going to a institutional church now, but we don’t want to have pretend to be something were not. And it doesn’t really make sense for us to sit through sermons that are presented as black and white, when we consider it gray. Lastly, I thought the post made some good points, but then I remembered the parable in Mark 4:26-29. God’s Kingdom will grow no matter what; it doesn’t need man or it’s institutions.

    • mike helbert

      Lindsay, this is exactly where I’m at. My family was part of a small non-denominational church for a lot of years. I spent 15 of those as worship leader. I began to see some things that troubled me. As worship leader I listened to a lot of music. I found that most of it was nothing but spiritual narcissism. All about Jesus and ME. I went to seminary and discovered that, like you, much of what I had thought as cut and dried ‘truth’ was maybe more ambiguous. I listened to pastors preach against LGBT people and everything ‘liberal.’ Our way was Jesus, Who is the Way, so our way must also be the Way. I just can’t buy it anymore.
      After several years away from organized church, however, my wife and I are beginning to look again. I know that I’ll need to find a place where I can accept things I don’t necessarily believe. But, can you imagine the Pastor that’s gonna need to put up with someone like me? We’ll all need grace.

    • Shelley

      me too. broken hearted…believing in church…but feel like I don’t fit anywhere…also in limbo land. what he said. please don’t assume that all of us who have left are happy about it or even that we all have decided we don’t need church.

  • Sal Puma

    When definitely need to belong to a group of people who are meeting in the name of Christ for worship, the Word, fellowship. It can be very discouraging when the church is so much like the world, you hardly feel like me you are in a church. Behind the scenes it becomes very much about economics and less about it’s true pupose. I don’t think this is a new problem. I think we are due for a new revival with genuine spiritual character with the scriptures at the very center.

  • Robert P

    I agree with the author’s point, but found his defense of the church’s relevance lacking. He doesn’t really explain how the church’s activities change lives.

    “The world needs the church to keep singing its songs and telling its stories.”

    Why? What difference does it make?

    “The world of cynical commerce and cut-throat competition needs our flawed little churches with their Christmas programs and Easter pageants, their archaic steeples and quaint stained-glass, their different kinds of sanctuaries and their all-the-same fellowship halls.”

    What makes these programs and buildings so crucial? How do they address the world of cynical commerce?

    “The world needs communities to dedicate babies, baptize believers, and bury the dead.”

    Why should the world care whether believers are baptized? As for babies and burials, people may want the church to dispense these religious goods and services, at isolated points of time, with little impact on their lifestyle.

    “Without a living church to maintain engagement with the sacred text, the Bible becomes a dead book.”

    The world doesn’t care whether the church is engaged with the Bible or not. It’s already a dead book to them–outdated and irrelevant. Are they able to see the Bible making a difference in the lives of Christians?

    “The world needs the presence of people whose lives are shaped by the death, burial, and resurrection narrative of baptism.”

    Shaped how? What do these people look like? What observable effect should they have on the world?

    “If the church had not carried its gospel story and sacred text from generation to generation, century to century, I could never have had a saving encounter with Jesus Christ.”

    Now this is promising. It needs to be unpacked: What does a saving encounter look like? What does the world need to be saved from and to? Why is Jesus the only one capable to save? Why is it not enough to become a nice person by following Buddha or Oprah?

  • Natalie

    I have read the first 20 comments and they resound so powerfully with me it hurts. I wish I could do church with all of you!

  • Michael Demarest

    We need relationship with other believers. We need to get together. Yes, we need to sing and recite the Great News. To my family today, the church has sadly removed itself from us. We go when we can, but we adopted several teens with mental health and/or developmental challenges. The church was megasupportive of the idea, but when they realized what we were getting into, they stepped out, kind of the opposite of the movie blindsided that came out a couple of years later. After we adopted the first, I noted with dismay how both the executive pastor and the facility pastor frowned in unison whenever he entered the room. The end result was marginalization. We still go to one of the satellite churches as much as we can make opportunity (hard with three wounded children) and love the site pastor. Every every once in a while go to the original plant, but I get really sad when one of the elders comes up and tells me how much they have missed us, when in reality, nobody visited, nobody called. The church is growing, but the number of people who just stop going is only a little under the number of new attendees, and to be frank, nobody notices. The event-driven evangelical church is merely a successful corporation.

    • Derek Gillette

      Hi Michael,

      This was a really difficult comment for me to read. I’m so sorry for what happened to you Michael. I admire you greatly for the responsibility you took on. I know a couple people in my life who have gone through the adoption process and I’m amazed at their eagerness to sacrifice some of their comforts to take care of this new child.

      I pray for incredible and deep healing for you and your family. May you be reminded today how much God loves each one of you,

      Derek

  • Vincent

    Why we need a church?
    Christianity is not a social club, are a money making business as we see these days how the church is being used. It is a culture, a movement where we help families, youngsters and individuals to live within the culture community in unity with each other as one family to grow in their walk with Christ. We invest in people by providing them help in their daily lives to become better persons sharing the love from Christ with everyone within the denomination. When we all focus on the cross and stand as a family we will experience that it is the cross of Jesus that will help us to manifest Gods will in our live.
    We are the church. The church is our hart. There where God speaks to us and reveals His plans for our lives.
    Do we need a physical church? Yes we do. We are one body in Christ.

  • Libby

    Hebrews 10:25 tells us that we need each other. We must assemble together for edification. It is a beautiful thing when you can experience the love of Jesus from a fellow believer in your local assembly. Does this mean they need to be calling you or texting you everyday. I don’t think so. Some can’t because of jobs or personal issues. But we can meet and share Jesus with one another once or twice a week. Give encouragement when you could not get it elsewhere. Yes we are the church. But Jesus himself went to the church and read His story. He watched the tithe chest. He washed their feet. He loved each and every person He came into contact with. Inside the church and outside the church.
    Personally if I did not have our church I would not be the accountable and sober person I am today. Left out there on my own or just with a small group of people at my house would be the death of my soul. It would leave me vulnerable to have no accountability or responsibility to be the vessel for God He has chosen for me to be. Without my church and my church family I would be a mess. I need time with them and they with me. I need to share my personal bible and prayer time with them so maybe someone can learn how to talk to God themselves. I would not have learned these things lest someone not shared them with me at church.
    I am thankful God called us to assemble together. Whatever that might look like. A fancy buildings or a quaint store front. God is wherever 2 or more are gathered. And I say the more the merrier. 🙂

  • Michael Dalton

    I can hear the hearts of the comments above. I know people get fed up with glitz and people and pastors who may at times seem distant and all kinds of other things about the Church that people could list as things than need to be worked on. For me – I can hardly stand to go hear messages – even when they are about Gods Grace – because there always seems to be a barb – something that I still need to do to keep God happy with me – some sort of work – though it most likely won’t be called that – that I need to do- to get or maintain Gods Pleasure.
    But let me offer something.
    It seems to me it’s not about buildings or money or programs. They are just things – tools that can be used well and for Great Good – or not so well.
    The Church for us who are believers is a place to learn and grow and have relationships with others who are of like minds and hearts and of course – so much more.
    But what about the world?
    When they come – do they see the Power Of God in Action?
    When was the last time you saw a visible miracle in your church?
    This is not to make anyone feel bad- but to help us all think.
    Christianity is Supernatural! It is supposed to blow people away when they see the Alive and Present Jesus do something that they have never seen or even thought could happen!
    The Miraculous! Signs and Wondersl
    When is the last time you thought about them?
    When is the last time you saw one or experienced one?

    The Church is not sustained by Miracles – but read the New Testament – Miracles – Miracles of all kinds – especially healing was and is a hallmark of The Church!
    The average person in the world has never experienced the Power of God. – but they can – .
    all Christians can be used by God in the area of the Miraculous – after all The Creator of The Universe Himself is In us – with all of HIs Power available!
    Let the world and the Church see Him in Action!
    Keep Kids church open. Keep doing feeding programs. Keep doing whatever is helping hurting people, and whatever is helping people period – but Lets Add The Supernatural Power Of The Only Living God – His Healing, His Gifts – The Mighty Works He said to do – That He will do in us and through us and in our midst!
    No one will wonder what The Church is for when they see the Head of The Church doing Things they thought impossible right in front of there own eyes – and experiencing Him themselves..
    It can happen in front of a Starbucks or in a parking lot.- Gods not picky about the place.
    But in the Gathering of Gods People, along with those who have come to see what it is about
    The Miracles not only serve the purpose of fixing somebody – but they help all those Gathered to know that this is a Gathering of His Church where people with all kinds of issues they are stil working on are united With Jesus who doesn’t care a wit about any of the issues as far as how He Sees them – He Just Loves Us, and Has made us one With Him! He wants us to have Lives of Joy! Not for Him – for us!
    We are Christians! We are The Church! Jesus is the Head! The Firstborn of many brothers.
    Let The Spirit of God run your Church. He is smatter than all of us put together. He knows what needs to be done.
    And let the world watch and see in us as individuals – and in our Gatherings-
    Jesus Loving us, Loving everyone and Wanting everyone to be one with Him.- members of His Family who shop and laugh and play football and know who is running for president and take there kids to school and work jobs, and fall in love, and get married and Live Lives Of Joy – because The One Who Created The Universe, LIves in us – and has an Eternal Relationship with us! The Miracle working God is Our Father and He Lives In Us!.
    We can let the world see that – It’s Gods idea, not ours.
    and then watch what happens.
    In your life, your familys life, at the Gathering of the Church – things that seemed so big and important, that have to be fixed now – or I might leave – they just pass into oblivion.
    As Heaven shows Himself to the World.
    Lets let Him Show HImself in us and in our midst!

    We really do serve The Most High God.

  • Jason

    I disagree. We are the church. And any time we meet together we are having church. Whether it’s for coffee or any other social gathering. We bring the presence of God with us wherever we go. So to say that the world needs the “Church”, yes it does but in everyday life not just a building that only gets used a couple times a week. The “church” has become an institution and a business and no longer a place of prayer and discipleship. The early church had several leaders that spoke on a topic and then they all discuss it and dialogued about it in the open. Today u have one man that speaks for an hour and when he’s done everyone takes him at his word and goes home feeling that their weekly duty of going to church has been fulfilled. People in the synagog were in awe of Jesus at 12yrs old because of his questions and answers and that is how it should be today. But in smaller more intimate settings. We should dialogue and not rely on just one man’s theology. And it would get more people involved.

  • Darrell

    Wow! All of your comments have really struck a chord with me. I am not the only one who feels that “the church” is severely lacking from what I believe the Head of His church intended. I could go on and on about the western model of church. Clergy/ laity distinctions, professional clergy, top down leadership models, franchises, lack of Power, lack of changed lives, lack of telling the difference in the world and the church, etc, etc, etc,…I am serving in Cambodia right now on a self supported mission and getting ready to step back into the western church model. I believe that God has shown us to love, look for like minded folks to form a community where everyone is encouraged to exercise the gifts that God has bestowed on us..I might be asking for a lot but I believe there is an army of folks who are starting to realize our way of doing church, is meaningless. Not totally, but I hope you get my heart. His peace b with ya

  • Ron

    Absolutely, we need the church precisely because it was Christ’s idea. Christ more than died for us as individuals – He died for the church! So think seriously about what you are implying by saying I don’t need the church. Many people struggle with church because they “attend” church but we are called to “be” the church. Paul said we are the body and Christ is the head of the Church. Asked differently this question could sound like ‘does the hand require the rest of the body to be functional?’ This is absurd. What I believe should be an authentic question is “What does the real church look like and what is my part in it?” If we don’t play a part in church now, heaven is not going to be a pleasant place for us! We need to invest time in finding good places of worship moreso than we do in finding good jobs and so on. Yes the church needs to be vastly from the world (we have too many institutions masquerading as the ‘church’ and we definitely can do without those but Christ warned us of those). And another point is we need to serve in some capacity rather than just waiting for church to be the pleasant place we wish it to be without getting involved in any way. How have we grown in our capacity to make the church shine or are we just looking for another reason to get out? The church is growing everywhere but in the Western world and there’s not much of the prosperity gospel preached in those places think about it… ‘Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church and He laid down His life for Her.’

  • Julie

    Depends on what you call “the church”. Does the world need the church? Absolutely. Does the world need organized meetings run by man? No Jesus said *I* will build my church. And then man took over. What the world needs is the TRUE church – the body of Christ living fully in Him and in the world.

  • louismoreaugottschalk

    I think it’s significant that Judas was the one that was in charge of watching the money bag of the first Church. the more things change the more they stay the same. *€]X•D

  • Stephanie

    These comments! Wow!! So many people on a similar journey….
    For myself, I am deeply frustrated with the current state of affairs, and I am not willing to just take the good with the bad any longer. I do believe there are great people in churches and that many churches do great things. But I am just so tired of going through the same routine every sunday and feeling the same nagging feeling that there must be more than this. I am weary of the politics, the power posturing, the showmanship…. I guess what I am saying is that I am boycotting the church system because I am searching for something far more authentic. I haven’t found it yet, but I would rather stumble around blindly, groping and begging God for something real than continue to go through the motions in a church setting. It has been a long time coming, and it is nothing personal to anyone who still wants to invest in church life, but for me it was beginning to make physically sick and irritable…. I knew I had to make a move. It came with great strain to many of our relationships in the church, and an emotional toll, but when the Lord calls, you answer!

  • William Klein

    Find me a perfect church and I’ll join it, but then of course, it will no longer be perfect because I am in it, and am so imperfect. The ability of our Church to be robust after 2000 years, despite such corrupt and inept leaders is not to Her detriment, but rather a testimony to Her validity. Our church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints. If a church you visit is not robust, it is surely testimony that so many corner churches startup in an attempt to feed the human search for self – “I’ll be happy in a church that makes me feel good, that believes like I do.” That, by definition, would be an unnecessary, irrelevant church. The fact that we so often fall and bloody our knees reminds us that it most certainly is not all about “Jesus and me,” but rather loving our neighbor as ourself and forgiving as we desire forgiveness. Jesus instituted church and sent the Advocate to maintain her, despite it all. Good read. Thanks.

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