The Faith/Church Disconnect
A Leadership Journal survey reports that for nearly half of self-professing Christians, involvement in a local church is a minimal part of their lives. In short, the church has become non-essential to them. A large segment of Christians are claiming faith but not keeping the fellowship of believers. This trend is one that many pastors know anecdotally, and it is one that is truly concerning.
The church and Christ are inexplicably tied. The two cannot be separated; they are married to each other. Christ is the groom. The church is His bride. Being a Christian without a connection to the local church is like trying to have a marriage without interacting and communicating with your spouse. The church is a critical piece of a relationship with God. In fact, a relationship with God is seriously compromised apart from the local church. Christ and the church are bonded like the joining of a husband and wife in one flesh. Breaking this bond is serious.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:31-32
It is my prayer that the gap between faith and the church will shrink. It will take a revival of dedicated hearts coupled with churches willing to change to reach better the culture around them. But I firmly believe that the Holy Spirit can work to bring our churches and people back together. What steps is your church taking to close this gap? What heart changes in the people do you think will have to occur in order to tie faith back to the church?