Saturday, July 26, 2008

My church isn't deep enough for me

This was a comment that a 20 something told me when he was describing his church during a conversation at the fair last week. This isn’t the first time I have heard this comment nor will it be the last. What does the comment really mean? Is it the lack of knowledge that a church or pastor has? Is it the void of the charismatic aspect of a particular service? Or is it lack of challenge or high expectations of its members?
As I conversed with this young gentleman to find out exactly what he meant his problem was the lack of charismatic elements in his church service. This conversation sparked my own thinking of mainline churches and even seeker sensitive services. The church isn’t deep enough seems to be a criticism that is leveled against these types of churches. There is an argument that can be made that a church is not responsible for each person’s spiritual growth. Which I agree with but I do think that the church can facilitate growth and can create environments where people can change.
Have these types of churches become safe to the point of their own detriment? Is safety a word that needs to describe the church? Yes in the context of children, but in the context of the way we are presented the Christian lifestyle probably not.
When one is looking for adventure, a dangerous lifestyle, or a life-changing mission does one look to Christianity or the church to help fulfill this goal? For those who have these types of goals in life the New Testament church would be a great place for them to fit into. Where would they fit now? I recently had a friend who helped smuggle Bibles into a communist country as part of a group of about 7. What if churches began to offer missions trips that offered the chance to change the world but had the possibility of prison or death what would happen? Our churches would begin to change the type of people who felt comfortable there. Our memberships may go down, but the dedication may go way up.

1 comment:

Shane Vander Hart said...

I agree with you Ben. I think that we need to challenge people who come to church. We are often too safe. We like our comfort zones too much, and because of that we risk nothing for Jesus.

Looking at Matthew 16:24-26, that doesn't seem to be the picture of discipleship that Jesus has in mind. Discipleship is hard. It is costly, but it is worth it.