I am concerned; it appears that many of us are no longer invested in our local assemblies. When talking with ministers, bishops, elders, missionaries and evangelists they ALL express frustration. Many of us have changed our church membership numerous times. My former pastor, the late Supt. Nathan L. Simmons stated, “the average Atlanta resident has been a member of at least 5 churches.” I thought that this was appalling, however, it is true. The stereotypes of building funds, state rally days and pastoral appreciations are killing me! I have personally declared a notorium on special offerings. It is important for us to give tithes and offerings and nothing else. That money should be used for membership needs and charities. I am not convinced that this is happening in Black churches in Atlanta or anywhere else in America.
Also, many of our pastors have stopped studying the word. They have NEW buzz words workshops, symposiums and series. What in the world? I really new “fresh oil” weekly. However, I am not a pastor so I will have to just take what I can get crumbs from under the table. One good thing in all of this is “forced-relationship.” This simply means that all believers will have to go for themselves in the Word! I no longer can rely on another man or woman to give me what I need from God; I have got to seek Him out in His Word.
What is the mission of the church? When I talked to about 25 church ministers (both male and female) many of them resounded, “fundraising.” This is sound; I just can not tolerate anymore. Before I subject myself to repeated offerings and announcements, I will stay home, pray and read my Word. Yes, I also know the scripture that says “forsake not the assembly of yourselves together”, but I believe that the reference in this scripture is for worship. I am not sure of the mission of the Black church. An occasional service event is just not enough. Our main focus should be service and helping those less fortunate. It appears that we have set up idol Gods and are using the church as a front.
Yes, the church, in my opinion, has not only lost its Mission but also its Focus!