People often ask what it’s like being involved in smaller, participatory churches where folks are actively involved during the meetings (and during the week!) in encouraging and ministering one to another, rather than having podium-directed “services”.
Here’s the best analogy I’ve come up with:
Going to enjoy a sermon and the worship team in an institutional church is like going to McDonald’s.
Forming community and participating in organic church is like cultivating and enjoying a healthy, wonderful garden.
One is passive but gives instant gratification. The other takes effort but is much more deeply satisfying – and healthy!
For those of you tired of McChurch and are looking for community and participatory fellowship, understand that you are cutting across the grain. Our entire culture caters to passivity, personal autonomy, instant gratification and stroking our need to always feel good.
Don’t get frustrated that most won’t relate to or join in your journey. Simply let God do His work in you as He makes you ready, and be receptive as He then brings others into your life who likewise are being prepared. That process may take some time, however, as God burns the McChurch mentality out of you. But in time, He will bring the right people into your life. And when that happens, go plant a garden together!
~ Jim Wright