What I don’t need from the church

Photo by Pille Kirsi from Pexels

For 20 years I was a little church planter and pastor. I would work on projects in smaller communities or where the community had dwindled and help them rebuild, hopefully, to something brand new. In reality, it ended up not looking much different from any other church in the neighborhood, even though we tried to present ourselves with something authentic.

For the past few years, my wife and I haven’t been to church at all. We don’t miss organized religion at all. We healed from our trauma and were able to thrive without any of the local church services.

I’m not saying I never gained anything from the church, but now that I’m out there are several things that seem ridiculous these days.

1. When a thousand people get in their cars and drive to a facility to hear someone teach.

I don’t follow many preachers these days, but if I did, I could find the best in the world and the videos online, or I could watch their TV services. It’s beyond me to think of all the money spent on gas, parking lots, buildings, restaurant meals, and all the other expenses to get everyone to a central location just to hear a “word.” ”

Not to mention, going to church tends to be the stressful part of church for most people. That’s usually when they were yelling at each other when they were driving to church and getting ready, and then the stress of being in a group.

I can’t tell you how useless I think that part of the church is to me right now!

2. Listen to a concert

Even though I’m avoiding large gatherings these days due to COVID, I still enjoy going to concerts. Gigs. I remember the first ones where I went as a teenager. Honestly, that’s why we love modern cults. It really is a rehearsal concert.

I’m not saying it doesn’t produce an emotional high. But I don’t even know if it’s appropriate for communion with the divine. I think it gives us a rush of emotion that doesn’t last until we come back to see it again next week. It may seem like there’s something sacred about it, but when you ask people about their most meaningful worship experiences, they’re always talking about nature, not something that happened in a building. .

3. Donate money to an organization

The average religious person gives about $1,000 a year to their organization. 70% of this money goes to church salaries in building maintenance. The New Testament speaks of all of us as priests in the absence of the need for someone to manage our spiritual life.

I understand he’s also talking about the elders who naturally develop within any community, and there are certainly people who guide and guide us in our lives, but I think it’s gotten out of hand and has been since long time.

Organizations have always promised to help people like the common poor, but very little of their money goes to these types of efforts. Most of it goes to leaders and maintaining the organization. Our money would be better spent in our current communities. The rest of the services we receive from the church could be found elsewhere for free.

4. Participation in Systemic Abuses

As I mentioned before, when there is no organization, preservation, organization takes precedence. Over the past few years, we’ve seen this play out over and over and over again. Whether it’s the young Southern Baptist ministers mistreating people or the Catholic priest or just the widespread sexual abuse that some would cover up, it’s a big, huge problem.

My current position is that if I can commune with a divine nature and can look within to find the kingdom of heaven, why would I attend an organization that consistently has abuse issues. When I hear from dozens of people with war stories of how they are still recovering from church-induced trauma, why would I go to church and pay the money to expose myself the same problems?

I’m not saying we can’t have a type of organization that works, but the way organization works hasn’t changed much in the last 1500 years. Very difficult to change an organization from the inside. He must probably die a natural death and be reborn to something totally different.

For now, many of us are thriving in the desert. We have a real community that I have noticed the most since I had my stroke and found people who have been supportive and loving me through this crisis. I found true healing from the trauma of my church in the desert.

I wish you good luck on your journey.

Be where you are, be who you are,

Forehand from Karl

Jerry B. Hatch