For too long we have wrongly assumed that what we do as a church naturally produces solid Christ followers. Nothing could be farther from the truth! What we have is a generation of people who wrongly assume that church attendance (pew perching) is synonymous with Christ following. In other words... if I do the scheduled events and attend the "services" I must be following Christ. In fact, it's interesting that those who are called to serve call their gatherings "services". Perhaps this should be changed to provide some distinction between fellowship and actual service (ministry).
Here's the rub... could it be that we have placed too much emphasis on the scheduling, programming, and/or structure of our churches and, thereby, become idolaters? If these things (or anything) become more important to us than our relationship (connection) with God, the answer is "Yes".
Maurice Roberts says... "Ecstasy and delight are essential to the believer's soul and they promote sanctification. We are not meant to live without spiritual exhilaration... The believer is in spiritual danger if he allows himself to go for any length of time without tasting the love of Christ... When Christ ceases to fill the heart with satisfaction, our souls will go in silent search of other lovers (The Thought of God)."
It is entirely possible to love the THINGS of the Christ but not THE Christ. It is also possible to love some things that you think are of Christ, but really have little if anything to do with Christ. To do so is to love other lovers.
We need to ask ourselves some serious questions...
- Do we love reading God's Word for the sake of knocking out a perscribed number of chapters each day, or for the sake of connecting with Him?
- Do we love gathering on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening more for religious purposes than relationship purposes?
- Is it more important that we hear a sermon or live a sermon?
- Does thinking about doing church differently cause us to feel like we are forsaking the faith of our fathers?
- Are we more about protecting our traditions or advancing the Kingdom?
How we answer these questions and others will reveal volumes about our walk with Christ or... lack there of.