One of the unintended consequences of the amazing array of programs and worship options available to us today in the west is that it is easy for people to assume that all of their spiritual needs will be met by a good church. And, some churches seem to promise this to be the case. And then they wonder why people eventually become dissatisfied with their offerings.
It is a false assumption and a false promise. We can never outsource the responsibility for our spiritual lives to any church, no matter how wonderful. No church will satisfy the thirsting of our souls - only Jesus can. No church will meet all of our spiritual needs - only Jesus can. Ultimately we must take responsibility for our spiritual lives and make the investment in living daily with Jesus.
In our church we find a community of pilgrims with whom we share the journey of faith. How people negotiate the issues of life without a faith family I don't know. It is God's plan for us. But, it is not a substitute for our own need to grow daily with Jesus. Many complaints about the church are pointed in the wrong direction. The church was never meant to meet all of our spiritual needs. Only Jesus can.
Healthy ministries keep people oriented toward Jesus. They encourage us to live in His presence, stay in His Word and live out the Gospel in every relationship and circumstance of our lives. No one can do that for us. He is the source of our joy, our satisfaction and the object of our worship and lives.
If we are pastors, we ought not promise what the church cannot deliver. And all of us ought to make the investment in our relationship with Jesus.
(Posted from Oakdale, MN)