I heard a story about a man rescued from a small, uninhabited island after being all alone for eight years. When the rescue crew landed they saw three little grass shacks on the beach.
“Who else is here with you?” asked the Captain.
“No one, I'm all alone.” replied the castaway.
The captain was puzzled. “Well I see that you live in this one but what are those other huts for?”
The man pointed up the beach and explained that he built that one to use for his church.
“Oh,” said the Captain, “what is that other one for?”
The castaway explained, “That’s where I use to go to church but I didn’t like it there.”
There is a lot of pressure today to make our churches more felt needs-oriented. Somehow, we think we need to respond to whatever people think they want. We design programs to present religion in neat little packages for every separate segment of contemporary society. We even have organized churches for special interest subcultures. I once read about a church that was designed just for surfers.
Although the church today has become increasingly willing to respond to the buttons that people push in their pews, there now seems to be a growing movement back to a more traditional, historical faith. Many people are finding that having their needs met is not nearly as important to them as just meeting God, and frankly, I doubt that He is really all that interested in the noise of our contemporary clamoring anyway. Like a dog that can't seem to get anywhere because he keeps stopping to scratch his fleas, I wonder if we are so busy scratching where everybody itches that we aren't taking anybody anywhere significant.