I am intrigued by folks who say “I am part of the Church but I don’t go to church. Over my forty years of church leadership I, like you, have seen the revolving door of church attendance where connectivity and commitment is as illusive as the tooth fairy. I’m always thankful for the faithful core that has perpetuated the ministry and teaching of Jesus as they have sunk deep roots and borne fruit with in the local church. Perhaps you find yourself loving Jesus but disconnected from His Bride. As a church planter of small churches that meet in homes and on college campuses we have dear Christians come in but often with fuzzy views of the church, authority, community and commitment. Perhaps this indicative of our rootless age, perhaps the lack of sufficient teaching on the nature of church. Here is a quick litmus test on understanding Biblical standards for church life.

  1. You view church participation as optional. You fail to understand that ecclesia is best translated “the assembly”.  If you don’t assemble you are not part of the church.

  2. You refuse to formalize membership. Membership is seen as an unnecessary burden.

  3. You routinely complain about church members and leaders.

  4. Elders of the church do not serve as a sounding board for counsel for your life. You reject your need for oversight. 

  5. You do not see Church leadership as having authority to govern the direction of the church.  You often see yourself as fundamentally more insightful than leaders.

  6. You hop between churches based on whim, special speakers and events instead of focusing on growing within a committed faith family. You can’t be committed long term and as soon as you connect to a congregation the clock is ticking for you to depart. 

  7. You boast in being part of the universal church or even the city-wide church yet you refuse to commit to a local congregation.  You see yourself as carrying an “anointing” separate from the approval and oversight of the local elders.

  8. Your words and actions tend to influence others to loosen their bonds to the local church and to pastoral relationships.

  9. You read the Bible and an individual source of encouragement but fail to see the corporate content that emphasizes commitment and relationships within the church.

  10. Your pronouns regarding leaders and church are individualistic and not corporate “Me, I, mine, yours and not ours, us and we.

 

About The Author 

Joseph Horevay became a Christ follower in 1972 in the Jesus Movement. He soon entered youth ministry, Christian broadcasting and later church planting and pastoral ministry. First ordained in 1982 he has participated in missions work, church planting and leadership development on four continents. Joseph and his lovely wife Renee are co-founders of NEO House Church Network, a network of micro-churches affiliated with the Christian & Missionary Alliance.They actively focus on the emergence of the “Church of the city” as an expression of John 17 and developing a sustainable indigenous missions presence in Nepal. Joseph is the father of four and a grandfather to seven.