More and more I have been hearing this statement: "I’m a follower of Jesus, but I don’t like the church."
It takes many forms, and there are many reasons given for the claim.
For instance: Some tell me the church is full of hypocrites. Others can’t stand church politics. I’ve heard that the church is just after your money. And there are those who say that the church simply does not offer them anything.
I have to admit something to you. I know the church is full of hypocrites. I’m one of them. Not all the time, mind you. But I do hypocritical things. I’m not alone. It is true for most (maybe all) of us. I also get fed up with church politics.
As for the last two excuses, it does take money to operate a church. I’m not embarrassed to ask people to give, because the Bible calls for us to be generous. Churches need to be transparent in how we use the money given, because it is God’s money. But giving is part and parcel of following Jesus.
I must say that the argument that the church does not benefit someone is tiresome to me. The very attitude is sub-Christian at best. Jesus said about himself, "The Son of Man came, not to be served, but to serve." And he has called his children to serve others as well.
Now, I recognize that the church has a responsibility to its members. We are to teach and train and encourage and help them along the way. But as Christians, we are called to serve the church.
Often one only "gets out of church" what one puts into it. We need to take care not to approach church as if we were merely consumers. The church deserves more than that.
I hope that you recognize the importance of the church in your walk with Jesus. The Bible refers to the church as the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, and the people of God.
Paul said Jesus, "loved the church and gave His life for her." If the church matters to Jesus, it ought to matter to us as well.