My small group is reading the last chapter of Francis Chan’s Forgotten God this week, and I just came across the passage where Chan describes the story of a former gang member who joined his church, then after a few months left. He goes on to write:
When asked why he didn’t come anymore, he gave the following explanation: “I had the wrong idea of what church was going to be like. When I joined the church, I thought it was going to be like joining a gang. You see, in gangs we weren’t just nice to each other once a week–we were family.” That killed me because I knew that what he expected is what the church is intended to be. It saddened me to think that a gang could paint a better picture of commitment, loyalty, and family than the local church body.”
Forgotten God by Francis Chan, p. 152
This prompted me to write “Big Ouch!” in the margin. Is this how my church is? Is this how your church is? Better, is this how you perceive the church, the bride of Christ, as a whole? Gangs have to be tight, like family, to survive in their environment. And here we are, the church, bombarded continually on all sides by our enemy, and yet we are scattered, non-cohesive, disunited. No wonder he infiltrates so easily. Our defenses are full of holes. Our offense is next to nil.
Any ideas? Thoughts? Prayers? How about actions we can take as individuals to change this destructive trend?