Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the LORD. Jeremiah 23:2
I recently returned from a three day conference in Seattle. During one of the breaks , a man came over to me to visit while I was reading my Bible. We had a wonderful fellowship. We talked about the many things Christ has done in our life’s and the future eternal Life with Him. Without warning, as we headed back to the seminar room, he looked at me and said, “I am a much better Christian since I stopped going to church.” That stopped me in my tracks. I told him that we still had a few minutes and I would like to hear what he meant by that.
We found a set of chairs and sat down. He explained that where he lived, there were about 100 churches. Although he had not attended all of them, he found a common denominator with those he attended. The pastor’s were either protected by staff or if you did have an opportunity to talk to the pastor, you were allotted so many minutes.
In his last church, he asked for an appointment to see the pastor concerning the marriage of his step-son. The church staff secretary said the next available time would be 12 days later. He said okay. Two days later he gets a call from the church office to say that his appointment would now be 2 1/2 weeks later. He decided then to seek another church after that episode. But first he would confront the pastor that Sunday. The associate pastor delivered the message of the week; the senior pastor was nowhere to be found. When he inquired of the pastor’s whereabouts, the associate pastor said to make an appointment with him if he needed to talk. My friend told the associate pastor he was able to see his state representative within two days of his request. He walked away from that church, never to return.
Well, my new friend had it. What good does the local church do anymore he wondered. So he started to have his own service on Sunday with a few other disillusioned people from the neighborhood at his home. This group has been a wonderful answer to prayer he said. They promised that no matter how large the group gets, they will never become a church. Reminded me of Acts Chapter 2.
When I returned to my room later on, I read Jeremiah 23:1-4. Some pastors may want to re-read those verses. (Or maybe read them for the first time).