Everyone has an idea about what church is, or at least should be. Oh, and what is supposed to happen in there, I hear lots of ideas about that. The debate rages on about programs vs. freedom in the Spirit. Can God use programs? Yes! Can God use freedom? Yes! So, why the debate? Mostly because mankind has trouble with a supernatural God, and they rely on logic and their own understanding. What often happens is you get some really good ideas that seem to promote the Kingdom and it gets voted in. God is pretty clear about a lot things that should be going on in church, just read 1st Corinthians chapters 12 - 14 for starters.
So, what happens to folks who go to a church that is programmed? You know, places where everything is completely predictable each week? The answer, people either get bored and stop attending, they feel obligated to be there for some perceived, yet empty religious reason, or they jockey for positions that are fulfilling within the church. Often, you won't easily find God in that kind of place. You can tell by what people talk about. The Bible says that the "sheep hear His voice," yet not too many people talk about hearing from God.
I believe people eventually feel trapped in this kind of environment. I know that I did. I wanted to follow the things that were in my heart, yet they didn't fit the programs. So, I just got on board with the programs and abandoned the things that I wanted to do for God. This can build maturity, but it can also leave one completely empty and disconnected from the church, their emotions and worse, God.
As most folks are well aware, we are each made differently. We have different personalities, different talents and different gifts. The church will encorage us to get involved in ministry and encourage us to go on the path that God has for us. Yet, the church will often try to plug us into a program where we fail; where a our heart is just not in it no matter how often we show up, try and do our best.
The following video is a testimony of someone that felt trapped by their preconceived notions about church... and what it meant to follow his heart. Every time I hear this, I want to be free from church-ianity and get on the road that Jesus has made for me, even if it is in the desert.