Since I was a pastor for many years, you’d think I would be gung-ho about all things‘church’. I guess the tip-off this isn’t the case is the past tense ‘was’. But I didn’t leave the ministry just because of disenchantment with the church; there was much more to it than that. However, I’m aware there are problems with the whole idea of ‘church’ that give people the heebie jeebies if the idea of actually going to one comes up. I had a
case myself when I first thought about going back.
I think there are just too many churches. Traditional, emergent, progressive, non-denominational, evangelical, non-traditional churches featuring contemporary, blended, traditional music or combination thereof represented by mega-churches, house churches storefront churches, main-line churches, multi-site churches and, if the city is large enough, all of these in one town. When trying to choose a church, its like going to Baskin
Robbins 21 flavors; all are good but some better than others depending on one’s
taste. And because there are so many choices, it’s easy to flit around from church to church depending on your mood and whether a church ‘meets your needs’ which do change frequently. I know, I’ve been there.
But one thing I’ve learned (and was told I would by those wiser than me) is, after breaking through all the fluff and showmanship, churches are all about the same because they are all made up of people and people have problems, lots of problems, even the (heaven forbid) pastors and church leaders. In fact, they might be the worst of all. So, the upshot is there will always be something in any given church that will eventually turn you off. And given the shopping mall selection of churches, it’s easy to go
find another one.
So, what do you think about all this; too many churches, or too few, or just right? Sometime soon I’ll address the question of whether going to church, assuming you find one suitable, is even necessary.