I’m aware that sometimes churches are incredibly unfriendly. I’ve been to ones like that. Sometimes churches make it hard to “break in,” and feel very clique-ish. I get that too. And I know Redeemer isn’t perfect, in any aspect of our ministry, so we can certainly get better in providing community (though I think we do a pretty good job). Expecting perfection in the church now is a little on the premature side. That comes when Rev 21 happens.
But just as often, if not more so, the issue lies not with the church, but with the tentative way many people “seek” community and connection within a local church. People often passively approach community, expecting the experience of deep fellowship to happen overnight, and for it to simply fall into their lap without a lick of personal initiative.
Check out this blogpost parodying a couple passively “seeking” community and not finding it. It’s kind of funny, but also very spot on to the American consumer culture in the evangelical church today. Our tendency is to work hard at marriage, raising children, improving job performance, continuing education, but we often expect community to simply come to us. It’s not something we feel like working at. Yet the truth of the matter is, I think it’s impossible to experience real gospel community without regularly seeking it out and applying the gospel when you’re frustrated.