What A "Church"!
I was in on the founding of a "church" in this area, some years ago. And what a bunch of folks it was!
When someone wanted to join, they were informed about what was expected of them. They were told what we believed and what we stood for.
Attendance was expected to be very high, and if folks weren't there when we met, they were expected to be at another "church".
If they attended less than 2/3 of the meetings, they were out.
And, if we had projects, folks were expected to be involved.
Anyone involved with this bunch was expected to participate in the programs. Bring things to our meetings that would benefit to the group.
Folks were happy to invite others, who usually came. Most joined.
Everyone there joined in the spirit of the group. It was really neat, and even though it's been 30 years ago, and I moved on after about 4 years, I made friendships that last until this day. And, even though they've changed their name to better represent the community in which they're located, they're still the same group, and going strong.
Their "denominational ties" continue to extend their reach across the community, the state, the nation, and around the globe.
Sound like a good outcome for starting a local church? It does, to me.
I must add I have been lying. Not about the organizing, the expectations, the involvement, the spirit, or the outcome, though. It's just that it wasn't a church.
It was a Rotary Club.
Is there any reason that God ... the One Who conceived of salvation and enacted the plan ... the One Who brings us the eternal life now and in the future via the resurrection ... which He proved by doing it a couple thousand years ago ... the One Who remains as fascinating, involving, revealing, enrapturing ... even after all the thrills of the world have worn themselves out ... is there any reason He wouldn't see results in His church at least as impressive as the Hoover-Riverchase Rotary ... now the Hoover Rotary ... Club did, 30 years ago?
I can't, either. Must be our fault. Showing up, maybe, in 33.28% attendance in the key areas of Alabama, churches constantly looking for nursery workers, and lousy attendance at prayer meetings?
Not to mention the old truism that 15-20% of the people do 80-85% of the work and give 80-85% of the money, 30-35% do the rest, and half do and give nothing?
Yup. Must be it. It can't be God and it can't be the Bible.