I don’t talk to many people at all who are content in their spirituality.
I don’t talk to many who say they are enjoying their relationship with God and feeling good about it.
It seems we are in constant struggle to grow and develop our own spirituality. Perhaps that’s why we are attracted to apparently successful images of church. (I say ‘apparent, because some genuinely are ‘successful’ and others are apparent).
By being part of a happening church, where the worship is intense and the preaching is powerful I can feel like I am in a healthy place. I can feel like I am powerful, victorious go ahead type of Christian. I think there are many who do actually develop vicarious spirituality – where their own faith is lived through the vibe of the church or the charisma of the leader.
That’s a scary place to be, because all you have to do is ask the ‘what if?’ questions.
What if the church splits?
What if the preacher leaves?
What if you get a new job in another city?
More to the point…
What if you wake up one day and discover your spirituality is a thin veneer covering a vacuous empty space? What if you were to face reality and say that there is no ‘me and God’ there is only ‘me and church’ and thru this I meet God?…
What if you have been faking it?
I am all for inspiration, all for creating a vibe that engages people, but I am concerned that there are many people living off the fumes of a ‘rockin church’. I am concerned that people have outsourced their own spiritual development to a pastor or a ‘church’.
Yes – we do this stuff in community, but if we don’t do our own bit in private then we actually abuse the community by being always takers rather than givers.
Part of my real concern for the church is that we grow disciples who aren’t dependent on a weekly church fix to pump them up, but who are solidly earthed in their own identity in Christ.
Sometimes our own structures tap into the dark places in our hearts and work against this end…