This past weekend I was going through some old magazines and came across an interview with author Calvin Miller. In the interview he alluded to the idea that most Christians were more interested in feeling God than really knowing God. What floored me is that the interview was from the early 1980’s…yet his train of thought is even more relevant today than back then. In 2011 the Church seems more fixated on “feeling the presence of God” than truly knowing God. Church leaders seem more concerned with the worship experience on Sunday than the discipling and outreach Monday through Saturday. Pastors seem to be spending more time worrying about creativity and relevance…than substance and depth. In an of itself wanting to feel the the presence of God, being relevant, embracing creativity and striving for excellence are not bad things. However, when they become the primary goal and constant priority…the Church is in danger.
I fear that we are getting people in the front door, baptized and plugged into “community”…yet never see them grow beyond spiritual infant status. They forever suck on milk as stunted babies and never long for the solid spiritual food that the Father wants His children to desire. They know the latest worship “hit” word-for-word…but never know the Word itself. They can quote lines from the latest emergent guru’s book…but not a single line of Scripture from memory. They know how to go through the motions of worship on Sunday…with hands raised upwards…but never discover that it is our eyes that should be focused to the Heavens. They learn how to embrace the cultural relevance of this world…but the not the ability to flee from the things of this world in their own hearts.
True church is not solely about reaching people far from God or discipling those that have already come to Him. True church is both…with equal importance. It doesn’t mean that every church leader is called to reaching and discipling…but it does mean a healthy church has leaders that can guide people through both aspects. It is great that people can feel God in churches throughout America each weekend…but if we as church leaders don’t teach them how to truly know God…the Church as we know it…is doomed.