I get it. Believe me I get why most people want to stay away from church. Heck ,I’ve been deeply wounded by church people in my own life. I get it. I get every story I’m told about a wound, a deception, an hypocrisy that was so hurtful the only way you can risk being a part of a local faith community would be if that faith community was a dream church. What I don’t get is how so few of the many “free range” Christians in North America (those believers tweeting away their lives in the the latest 3rd wave coffee shop where they share more community over their shared latte snobbery than they share with fellow believers about much of anything that Christ says matters) wrestle with this truth so beautifully communicated by Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book Life Together. Bonhoeffer writes:
“Every human wish dream that is injected into the Christian community is a hindrance to genuine community and must be banished if genuine community is to survive. He who loves his dream of a community more than the Christian community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter, even though his personal intentions may be ever so honest and earnest and sacrificial.”
This world, this North America, doesn’t need a “perfect” church that will be comfortable communities for the free-range believers who dot the landscape. We need God’s people to find places, any place that calls on the name of the Lord (simply reads the word together, evangelizes together, communes together, gives to the mission, celebrates the Lord’s Supper, and baptizes people in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and then band together in our collective brokeness to express who God is to each other and to a watching world. It’s time to kill the dream of perfect churches and get on with our mission.