Here is a link to a post that really resonated with me. “They are not lazy, and they don’t want to be entertained” . A brief quote from it:
“…much of what I have witnessed among my friends and in my own church going experience is a backlash to the “seeker” movement which bred consumerism within the church…I never calculated the long-term cost of this philosophy of ministry…I was seeking a church that actually expects those who call themselves Christ followers to live in such a way that the world would see Jesus.”
While I do not advocate leaving the church, I think the author of this article has made some accurate and astute observations. I think we are, in the last several years, seeing the long term affects of the seeker/marketing approach to church that began in the 90′s. When there is a paradigm shift, it takes awhile to see the true affects because the old paradigm still holds influence for awhile. We’ve bred shallow believers who sadly do not even realize the shallowness of their faith. And many of the deeper believers have reached a point of real frustration and discouragement with the shallowness…some of them have left the church (but not Jesus!), seeking what they could not find within the church walls. They are tired of Christianity “lite”! They can’t stand being “entertained” anymore…but want to be challenged, and live out their faith.
Although I can not abandon the church, I can relate to these sentiments. I love the Lord Jesus more than I ever have, and I long to find genuine fellowship with other believers who really want to live the Christian life together and challenge each other in the faith. But it seems hard to find, evasive, and just beyond grasp. People just want to socialize, or keep things superficial. I find if I try to take things deeper spiritually that people get…uncomfortable.
I don’t want to sound “holier than thou.” And I am speaking generally, as I know there are Christians (and churches) out there that are serious about the faith and living for Christ. But my spouse and I are just in a hard place right now, feeling adrift, not quite sure where the Lord wants us.
But then…should we be that surprised to feel discouraged or alone sometimes? We are told to carry our cross. Jesus minced no words that the way of true discipleship would be hard, difficult, and isolating at times. It’s a narrow road…that only seems to get narrower as we follow in the footsteps of our Savior.
We need to look to HIM:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)
Thanks for listening.