Granted, the church ought to be the one place where this pattern is broken, but can we acknowledge that if we understand human nature correctly, this is really a terrible reason to be done with the church. After all, if you spot this problem, you obviously have a desire to be authentic and transparent yourself, so we NEED you to help make the church different.
“The Church Is Too Institutional”
This is often the case, especially in America. Rather than being a loosely organized organic community of friends, we’re a business and a bureaucracy. We erect ginormous denominational structures with boards, committees, parliamentary procedures and elected officers. Within the church, we have budgets and buildings and sometimes resemble the corporate world a little too much.
Here’s the flipside, though. Just as it’s possible to be too institutional, it’s dangerous to be too anti-institutional. Some level of institutionalism is necessary to maintain financial records ethically, organize people to accomplish the mission, and provide at least a simple structure through which people can be equipped to grow spiritually and serve others.
Somewhere, there is a happy medium, and you might just be the person to help us discover it.
“The Church Is Too Political”
Sadly, this is true, in multiple directions. On the one hand, we have the “religious right” or “moral majority” who completely confuse what it means for the church to be light and salt in the middle of a secular culture. We wrongly promote a kind of theocracy that seeks to “put God back into America” and legislate from our selected set of Scriptures. And on the other hand, there is a rather leftist, “progressive” branch of the church that seems to fight for an opposite set of values often with similar tactics.
I’m as done with this as you are. I’m convinced that Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians and those who wish to rebel against Palpatine’s new Empire to restore the Old Republic and the Jedi should all feel welcome on Sunday. But here’s the good news—there’s a whole generation of church leaders who are tired of trying to bully the “other side” (whichever side that might be) into submission. We’re interested in meaningful conversations in search of truth. And if you are too, come back to the church. We need your voice.
“The Church Complicates My Life”
As a kid, my family attended Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night and Sunday School. There were programs, events, activities, and business and committee meetings. And we were part of a church with less than two hundred people. Somewhere along the way, we thought the cool thing to do would be to come up with as many “ministries” as possible for as many people as possible and stay as busy as possible.
But does all the busyness produce actual, spiritual growth? Not often. It just wears us out, keeps us busy “at church” instead of living on mission, and prevents us from developing meaningful relationships outside the life of the church in the real mission field. And we can attend 10 Bible studies per week and not practice anything we’re learning.
Thankfully, God is raising up a generation of church leaders who are driven by God’s eternal purposes for the church rather than by programs, events, buildings and schedules. It’s entirely possible to streamline the church’s structure in a much more simple way to stimulate real growth and real relationship-building. But we need your help.