Do You Attend a Hollow Church?
And no, that wasn't a typo, I didn't mean hallow (i.e. holy); many churches are hollow.
They have built up an exterior facade but there is little evidence of the Spirit inside. Sure, they are beautiful to look at. The stained glass and mahogany pews create quite an atmosphere. The people can be friendly and the coffee can be top notch (this is a good thing, right?). Every single detail can be well thought out and executed to the highest degree.
But something feels...detached.
After the wow factor fades, the hollowness creeps in—not to the church as institution, but into the hearts of many people that attend.
Put simply, a hollow church is one that is increasingly feeling the effects of detachment between what a church ought to be and what they are presented with gathering after gathering.
So who's fault is it?
We are so quick to want to ascribe blame, aren't we? We want someone to be held responsible for all the disconnects we feel in life. The truth of this matter is that ascribing blame won't solve anything.
Is it the Pastor's fault for leading the congregation in the way he does? Sure.
Is it the attendee's fault for not taking ownership, sitting back, and passively practicing a fiery faith? Absolutely.
Is it God's fault because the Church is ultimately His? Woah...
There are too many questions and levels of nuance to address the fault and blame of the hollow church to fit in this blog post. Let's talk about it in the discussion forum below or on Facebook or Twitter.
Consider this, what good does it do you to point fingers, spew anger, and exhibit betrayal? Some situations are toxic, but some people make the situation toxic. Don't bring the toxic.
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Is there a cure for a hollow church?
The only cure that we have found for a hollow church is to become an empty one.
What is an Empty Church you ask?
Well, the building has little to do with it. The meeting time has little to do with it. The demographics have little to do with it. The coffee has little to do with it (sigh).
An Empty Church is a group of people that are ridding (read: emptying) themselves of the crap that keeps the Spirit from living and moving within the church and through the people. It is a group of people who have decided to live empty and follow Jesus. We've found through our own walks of life that often times what we are "full of" is what keeps us from God. Full of pride. Full of anger. Full of greed. Full of crap. And it's when we've been at our emptiest, when we've rid ourselves of whatever we were full of, that His Spirit became real and present in our lives.
We at Empty Church are in the middle of a grand experiment. We are building our front porch swing so that we have a place to get to know each other online. We are working toward launching live meetings in the near future (2016, fingers crossed). We would love for you to join us. To stay in touch please sign up for updates.
Until then, Live Empty. Not Hollow.