Following Jesus is both an intensely personal and private journey and a communal and corporate movement. There is the element wherein we develop Christ-like characteristics and have a direct responsibility to Christ for how we use what has been given to us to be like Him more. This part can be appealing to some and I guess especially in an individualistic society promoting the power of the autonomous one it stands to reason we can have a faith virtually privatised.
Something that’s harder to enact, and yet more crucial to understanding what it is to seek God, is the communal aspect. Building relationships and being intimate and personal with people baring your soul to people with the capacity and tendency to neglect it and indeed crush it from time to time. Having relationships with people out of the church can appear more appealing because of the lack of expectation that’s placed on that to be Christ-like. Slap a Christian badge on it and all of a sudden expectations rise and are frequently disappointed with the inevitable failings of stragglers and strugglers on this Christian highway.
It does not get away from the reality though that there is so much benefit in seeking God with others – not just those formal service times when we can put on the spiritual/pious masks and go through the motions. Rather we get those glimpses as we share life together over a drink or a meal. We get those inspirations as we do shared activities or just have a chat. See the glory of Christ in these frail, vulnerable jars of clay and have that compassionate heart to support each other in our brokenness so that in that mess of humanity, divinity Himself can be seen and expressed in a way that makes us distinct from other social groupings.
For His Name's Sake