I’ve recently come across Steve’s blog “From the Pew“. Steve has written several very good series, including “Re-Thinking Church Membership” and “Re-Thinking the Sunday Church Service“. In that last series, one post in particular caught my eye (“Disconnectedness“):
It is possible to feel loneliness, disconnectedness and a sense of helplessness in a large crowd of people. Many who live in the big city can attest to this. Some even find anonymity in large crowds. When one is in a group of people where they are supposed to be intimately connected – and yet aren’t – the disconnectedness can be amplified. A bad marriage can be an example of this. Or a marriage where the two simply go through the motions. The marriage is supposed to be a close relationship, and when it isn’t, it is much more obvious than if the two were mere roommates.
So it is with church. We are supposed to love one another, to bear one another’s burdens, to fellowship with one another, to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. When this doesn’t happen, the feeling of loss is increased. Something big should be happening here but it isn’t.
Through my own experience, the experiences of family and friends, and from the testimonies of many other people that I’ve talked with personally or through email, I know that Steve is correct. Many, many, many, many, many people sit through “church services” every Sunday with a feeling of loneliness and disconnectedness. These are not unbelievers, but people who believe in Jesus Christ – are filled with his Spirit – and are desiring fellowship with other brothers and sisters.
So, what’s the problem? I think one of the main problems is that the way we have structured and organized our church organizations (including the Sunday church service) fuels loneliness and disconnectedness and hinders fellowship and relationship.