I don’t know anyone who is totally satisfied with their church. People who go to a large church want the warmth and connection of a smaller one. Others are trapped in smaller churches and hungry for the music, programs, and preaching of bigger ones. Go to a seeker church, and it doesn’t go deep enough. Go to a traditional church, and it’s a holy huddle with little connection to those who don’t know Jesus.
So . . . what to do?
I remember having a conversation with a guy who was so into the Bible and Bible study, I could almost smell the leather on his breath. He was even taking courses at a local seminary. But since he was only auditing the courses, he couldn’t ask questions of the professors. As far as I could tell, he wasn’t involved in any real relationships. So, his biblical knowledge was going into his head and gathering dust.
Being a disciple (and a disciple-maker) involves wrestling with the Scriptures, not just reading them. Yes, we read and study to get the raw material (i.e., the truth of God’s Word) as our baseline. But raw material is just that. It’s not a finished product. But we need circumstances and opportunities to apply this truth, test our understandings, and give God the opportunity to “make known the path of life.”
Our call to make disciples means growing and helping others grow, and that requires us to engage with people. With other like-hearted Jesus-followers who have experience walking with God. With others who are trying to gain an understanding of biblical truth. With others who are walking with Him and care enough to help you learn as they learn themselves.
Don’t get me wrong . . . I’m not dissing Bible study. Just pointing out that people are the catalyst for God to show up and bring His word alive. And connection to people is a necessary step to make your faith real and useful in the world. No one ever gets fixed, but we can mature in community.
Church is the first stop. It’s where these two elements come together. Biblical truth and people to apply it to, see it in, and share it with.
Scripture: And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)