Often churches are essentially religious versions of “keeping up with the Jones.” What I mean is that many churches look around and assume other churches should be doing the same things their own church is doing. Or they look at the other churches as what they should be doing. The purpose of the body and different churches is so that we can all be a part of a corporate group family which listens to the Father and then functions in its part of the mission statement. It would be foolish and illogical for every church to do the same exact things… it wouldn’t reach our world which is super diverse. Look at Christ’s disciples they were so different!! He taught them and then sent them each out on a different mission which was all linked to the same goal. We are all called to be following the example of Scripture which doesn’t dictate an independent religious experience which never partners with believers. Scripture doesn’t paint a picture of every church doing the same thing, nor a picture of each church functioning like the American church… the last part isn’t in Scripture at all. *Side note* I don’t know why it is so hard to convince people to leave this model… it’s not Biblical.
What we have today is a modified version of the Catholic example and yet we stand on it like we are functioning within an immovable dictate from God…. No my friend, you’re likely carrying on a human tradition and missing out on the very thing God called us to do: make disciples (See Matthew 28). Guess where you don’t make disciples… in a public gathering where you don’t intimately get to know people. I know that may be shocking but you make disciples in day to day life where you get to know people intimately and can help each other with REAL issues.
We read these things yet still fall prey to other people telling us what we should or should not be doing. Listen friend, your instructions are to be involved in a church so that you can be used as a part of the body to perform a mission. Stop listening to the world (religious people included) telling you what you should be doing.
The issue with all of this is that churches, large and small, have become venues of service/entertainment instead of portals for fellowship. Churches have looked around at other churches to see what they are doing to bring in more people (which for some reason we think means we are being successful). So we look past the people sitting in our pews that need more of the pastor and start to desire the very things that Christ promises aren’t a marker of success… Maybe your church is small because they ARE successful and can only invest in those people… So, we have lots of places people can go and worship but very few churches, very few families.
Your church should be different and should continue to be more and more different (hopefully). We need to realize that we are here for a purpose and offer something unique for believers… fellowship. We need to move past all of these ridiculous programs, revival services, Sunday events, etc. and start doing what GOD TOLD US TO DO! We need to be living life together and speaking truth to one another specifically… like a shepherd does with his flock. We unfortunately see that most churches desire a revival service more than fellowship because we are American Christians who like the microwave model… You aren’t going to have one service and save your town… you need to start doing what Christ called you to do (and it’s not more services). It takes work… Sorry, not sorry.
Stop looking for more people, one and done services, or anything else that shortcuts what Christ called us to do: live the difficult task of loving people even in their diversities and daily struggles. He does not call us to organize a building/corporation with events.
Spend 1-2 minutes thanking God you have just been told that if you are only doing religious things and not fellowshipping you are wrong… Then spend 2-3 minutes asking God to help you desire fellowship over what your flesh wants!
Go be with people. Stop thinking you need more of all the other stuff and start spending more time with people…