The Nomadic Search for a Local Church -- By: Walter J. Chantry

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 03:4 (Fall 1994)
Article: The Nomadic Search for a Local Church
Author: Walter J. Chantry

The Nomadic Search for a Local Church

Walter J. Chantry

And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. And everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together, and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions, and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. And day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved (Acts 2:42–47).

There is an increasing restlessness among American Christians. People are drifting from church to church in the same locality, hoping to find a level of God’s blessing that seems now to be absent. As God has blessed us with the multiplication of Reformed ministries in many localities, Calvinists have joined the game of musical churches. Round go the gypsies, and we watch to see where they will sit down next.

Complaints that make Christians into spiritual nomads are that the churches are not meeting spiritual needs, that they feel alienated from other saints, that the Lord is still far away. Especially do the young saints evidence this wistful, transitory quality of life.

In every generation young Christians are pummeled by the demands of starting a marriage, a family, a new career. At the beginning the financial, social and job pressures are most intense. A longing eye is cast at the older, more established saints who seem to have life together. Their homes are rooted and rock solid. Their jobs are advancing. They seem to have plenty of time to study God’s Word, pray, fellowship with each other. The young do not feel that they share in the stability. They are far from the level of doctrine or prayer-life of this core in the church. There is a feeling of not belonging. The

temptation of the vagabond to move along is intense.

The truth is that there is no church anywhere that can carry spiritual depth of doctrine or prayer to anyone caught up in the endless demands of this age. There is no congregation that can make a person feel part of the inner-fellowship of its assembly while he allows himself to be buffeted by the noise and time-demands common to mankind.

Those who now seem to have such a placid and privileged position in local churches once faced the same array of pressures ...

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