I confess that I have lost my appetite for church. It’s not that I don’t hunger for God or to be more intimate with Him, I just feel like church has lost its focus. In some respects it’s become more self-soothing then God-soothing.
I’ve visited a number of churches this past year. Every church has wonderful components and you can see the love of God in every place but it seems that the focus has shifted. Church is becoming more of a social club, as the main objectives are to build community, to connect, to enjoy life together and to help support one another.
Those are wonderful concepts and the intentions are great but where does the Holy Spirit fit? Is God at centre stage or are we trying to mould our faith and church life to our own desires and time. Are we relying too much on our own strength and knowledge to build community, to be caretakers and fight social injustice? There seems to be a heavy weight among the congregations. People are feeling overwhelmed and burdened, struggling to figure out how to do and give more.
I’ve always believed that church was a house of God, set apart and sacred, a place of comfort, a place where you can meet God and enjoy His presence and learn more about walking in faith with Jesus. A place where everybody is equal and accepted and where the Holy Spirit can thrive and radiate within each individual.
When the Holy Spirit is allowed to enter in fully, community building takes a natural course. There is more integration and the discrepancies of wealth and abilities dissipated. The onus is more on the Lord to guide the church and as individuals we become less burdened and overwhelmed. For us to thrive as individuals and as members of the body of Christ, we need to embrace the Holy Spirit and allow God’s Spirit to shine in His house.
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. – Titus 3:4-8 NIV