The eighth characteristic of an outward focused Christian, according to Thom Rainer, states: I will avoid the traps of churchianity. Rainer defines the term ‘churchianity’ as, “practicing our church and religious beliefs according to human standards rather than Biblical guidelines.” There are five basic symptoms of churchianity that we must all avoid.
(1) Church is a spectator sport. There are many people sitting in church pews that just simply sit there. They think that church is something you go to see like a concert or a sporting event. Such an attitude feeds the idea that the church should entertain me. However, the church is not to be in the entertainment business. The local church is a place where all believers are to be involved and engaged.
(2) Church is about me. There is nothing worse than a whiney church member. When we have the attitude that church is all about us, then we tend to complain when our so-called needs are not met. Church is not about what you get out of it. Church is a family of born-again believers who are engaged in each other’s lives in order to help one another to become more like Jesus.
(3) Church is about dwelling on its flaws. It is good for us to understand that there is no perfect church. Every church has its flaws. Instead of focusing on what is wrong, we should focus on what God is doing and how He is working.
(4) Church has low expectations. Many churches do not expect much out of their members. This is why there are so many immature Christians in our churches today. As a church family, we should have high expectations of each other. We should hold each other accountable to living according to God’s Word. We should expect that all church members be involved in the life and ministry of the church.
(5) Church has cliquish members. I have never seen a church that did not have this problem. We all tend to gravity toward those with whom we have things in common. However, the problem is when we do not reach out to others and allow others to be a part of the life of the church. We get too comfortable with those we are familiar with. Instead, we should reach out to others and work hard to include everyone in the life and ministry of the church.
Thom Rainer concludes, “Let us look at how we function in our churches. Is it Biblical or is it a form of churchianity? If it is the latter, may we make a renewed commitment. If we asked ourselves if we will continue to practice churchianity, let us respond without hesitation: I will not!