I have a question to ask, one that I am unsure that I can answer. Why do those who are sick, distressed, and hurting stay away from the church? If we, as Christians, are supposed t o help those in need, then why are only the “healthy” attending our church services? In fact, it appears that those in need avoid the church. I would go further to say that attending any church (with some exceptions) is more stressful than staying home.
Imagine yourself being an alcoholic, or pregnant as a teenager, or some other type of issue (perhaps, you are very ill), and think of how much trouble you go through to get ready for church because of the dress standard. Now, picture showing up at church and every person looks at you with disgust, repulsed even, that you decided it was a good idea to bring your sin-bearing, disease-ridden body (because sickness is obviously punishment for sin) to a place of Holy worship. You would feel worthless, lower than dirt even, and so to prevent further emotional damage you just stay at home.
How many of us have experienced such a thing? If we are the body of Christ, then this scenario should be a joke, not a reality. It breaks my heart to see so many churches become like the Pharisees in the way they act. God called us to love; Jesus himself stated that to love God and love people is the very foundation of the law and the prophets, and yet we choose to be reclusive, out of the culture that surrounds us.
The church is notorious for being a few years behind the current generations; how are we to reach people when we cannot even speak their language? Don't misunderstand me, this is not about making a modern service with only modern music; it is about knowing what people are gong through and speaking and helping in those needs.
I guess what I'm really trying to say is that if we, the followers of the Way, are truly following the Master, then people would want to come to church because that is where healing happens, rather than drudging appearing there. As it stands, Christians often are not loving to even other Christians, much less the rest of the world. We have much that needs to be repaired when it comes to the church in America.
Now, I say all that, but there are people and churches who are genuinely loving toward each other and those who do not believe, and people are being changed all over the world because of His love and grace, and all of that is very encouraging to know.