Yes, you saw it! And I am serious! I do no longer believe in the local Church.
In its present form.
I believe that many approaches have been tried, including Faith Groups, Family Groups, the Organic Church. I believe that this is valid, but they can go off on dogmatic tangents. I believe though they catch some of what is missing in Church in its classic sense.
They give what the church building does not; fellowship and intimacy.
I tell you when you can go two to three weeks without “going to Church” and not have a telephone call, not even a hi, you begin to wonder.
One man recently was weeping, as I counselled. He is a pastor in a circuit of churches. He had some issues in the family and his ministry to sort, he was away from church 2-3 months. Not one call, not one visit in that time. The Church members speculated to where he had gone, but the leaders gave no clarification.
It is this dysfunction which makes me make the above statement. I have to be honest…the local church does not function beyond the special meetings. It may seem very radical to you. But its true. If you’re not in the group, the in group, the elite, you are out and not cared for. If you do not say yes to everything, you are ostracised.
Surely the Church exists! Yes, few and far between they do. I know some of them. But they are not the norm. I see the same problem across the nations. I see the same dysfunction.
Can we stay alarmed? Upset? Distraught? No, we need to ask for the Lord to come in revival, and invest in close relationships. Close relationship with God, and with those who you have seen have stood by you in tough times.
They are few I tell you. I have gone through some very tough times, and I can count on my hand how many stood by me. Even when it looked black. The majority went running. They hit me with abuse, and excuses for not praying or supporting. I have now come to terms with the reality. The cult of the individual is now stronger than ever.
I do not believe in the local church as it is…I believe in a local church which cares, supports, those who care and love the Lord. How about you?