I liked this article by Jason D. Bradley – and not just because I work for the church, either. Here’s my favourite part.
5. Church is a spiritual discipline.
I have no doubt that I could abandon the local church and cherry pick some friends to meet with regularly who would make spirituality and theological discussions deep, challenging and fun.
But when I’m honest with myself, most of my growth has come from interacting with people I wouldn’t choose. By handpicking my social circle instead of submitting to a local community of believers, I’ll generally choose people who fall within my comfort zone.
I’ve grown in my ability to love by getting close to people with opinions I disagree with, different lifestyles, disabilities and all sorts of issues I had not been previously been exposed to.
I need a multi-generational, ethnically and financially diverse community of people to mentor me and broaden my perspectives. I need people close to me who I can disagree with and challenge in a healthy way—while still loving and wanting what’s best for them.
There’s no question that every church has significant problems, and I’ve often daydreamed about quitting. But I truly believe we need each other.
Read the whole thing. and if you’ve been abused by the church, especially read his caveat at the end.