If you have asked yourself can I be a solo Christian, someone who can do it on their own not needing a church family to connect with, I would recommend studying the verse today. There are many men and women who have this attitude that the church is corrupt and broken, a place of hypocrites and vagabonds. I can make it better on my own they say, I can read books and watch or listen to various preachers. I don’t need to be associated with any group of believers, they will only drag me down. As we come to a close in our study of being all in what did Jesus have to say about going it alone.
I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.
John 17:20-23 NLT
This just isn’t something the church made up to keep people in the seats and shelling out cash. We are called into the family of God. Jesus in this passage asks his Father to help us be one with each other. Other times he calls us the body, a group who are dependant on each of them, supporting each other and are essential for functionality. We don’t live in a reality of the Adams Family where Thing (a lone hand) can run around independently and survive. In reality, a hand cut off will drain of life and die.
Separating yourself from the church family will cause you to lose focus and purpose. You see this all the time when students who come from Christian homes with Christian values go off to university and don’t quickly plug into a Christ believing church. Their values and purpose get distorted by the adopted school family they replace Christ with. We wonder why they have fallen away. Churches that are located near Colleges and Universities need to be there with open arms to these students.
So maybe you feel your church is dysfunctional and you are ready to leave, maybe you need to realize that the grass isn’t always greener. I challenge you to not give up. Don’t abandon the family, invest in it. Work towards the health, fight for the family. Take some time to self-evaluate and see what you are doing in the church, are you part of the problem or part of the solution. Don’t give in to the temptation to walk away from the problem, tackle it with prayer and communication. Pray that church becomes effective in the mission of reaching others. Be positive about your church, build it up. Love your family. Being in an all in relationship with God means being part of a family of believers. You cannot avoid it.
Father, too many Christians are dissatisfied with their church family. I pray that we start loving it and building it up. I ask that we start working harder at the mission of reaching others. I thank you for what you are doing, thank you for the dreams and visions you are giving the leadership of your church, I pray for workers and warriors who will work to fulfil these dreams and visions. Let us as a church become more effective in sharing your love to others as they matter to you so they should matter to us. We want an all in relationship with you, make us stronger in this resolve. Amen