The experiment (or why I’m angry about church). . .

I was browsing my RSS reader when I came across a new post from my favorite blogger. Her thoughts really got me thinking about the way we view church here in America, and the tension between what she refers to as “Pretty Church” and “Messy Church.” Regardless, I do believe that the Church has this purpose: to be a loving community of people who, above all else, long to serve their Creator.

Unfortunately, my church experience is drifting away from that.

I don’t want to make any excuses, but put a group of singles together week after week, all of whom are in their mid-twenties to early-thirties, and you’re asking for difficulties. Petty drama follows after foolish arguments. The childish nature of relationship-seeking Facebookers spills over into the mission of the Church and poisons much of our interaction.

I say all of this ironically because I’m the chief culprit.

But I’m quitting now. The urban tribe doesn’t belong in the Church, and I’m putting an end to my involvement in it on Sundays. I’ve turned the service and worship experience into a live-action social network and begun to feed off the silliness of my “Sunday-night playdates.”

As brothers and sisters in Christ, our primary aim should be to encourage one another in spiritual growth. But much of what I’ve seen lately has been just the opposite. I had to ask myself this question last Sunday night on my way home from Liquid: What am I doing to help my fellow Christ-followers grow closer to Him? Conversely, am I actively seeking relationships that will nurture my fellowship with Christ? Or am I content with hanging out with people who worship during the service on Sundays, but never ask me about my fellowship with my Savior? When was the last time I asked someone that question?

So, my experiment. . . I’m going to avoid the Qube Lounge after the last service this Sunday. If anyone wants to join me, you’re more than welcome. If no one does, that’s fine too. I know that at the end of 15 hours serving at church, I’ll probably need to spend some time alone with my God.

What about you? Have you turned your church into a social gathering? If so, do you think you’d be willing to join me in stepping away from your urban tribe and re-opening the Word by yourself or in small community within hours after the pastor has said his final sentence?

2 thoughts on “The experiment (or why I’m angry about church). . .

  1. I’m very happy for you that you are taking this step. It’s been something that I’ve really been wondering about for a while. Nate, as a brother in Christ, I’ve felt somehow very hurt over the time that we have gotten to know each other and feel slightly disconnected (ironically contrary to what the topic of this blog is) from you. I hope that you will use the time that God has put on your heart to contemplate on what ways God wants to change your life. For me, this is honestly my way of seeing God. I find God through the puzzle pieces of goodness that I get from people. The other thing that I do see is a desire to fit in with the in-crowd. I’ve been told by certain people (who will not be named for their sake) that relationships in the church should be focused with fellow congregants and not with the leadership. This was a mistake that I made that I’m learning more and more how to deal with this. There are some leaders who are people pleasers who try to be best friends with everyone. It’s not physically possible for them to be best friends with everyone at Liquid. I hope that you see that this is not meant to hurt you but to help you hear some hard truths that have been held inside of me for a very long time. Please be careful about what you say and do. Find that time alone with God. Make friendships that are meaningful and how God meant them to be. You have a lot going for you, Nate. Even though there are parts of me that have difficulties with certain attributes to your character, I still support anything that is a step in the right direction. You are in my constant prayers.

  2. You make a very good point. That’s one of the things I’d say I had the most difficulty with when I first started attending. I DO love the people and the message and worship are always great, but I really need those iron-sharpens-iron relationships in order to really grow spiritually.

    One of my best friends actually stopped going there because he felt it had turned too much into a social event. šŸ™

    I’ll be back at church this Sunday. See you there.

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