Where are all the simple church people? I know they are out there; many are seeking fellowship with other believers. And yet, they are difficult to find.
More and more Christians are done with the institutional model of church. I'm one of those Dones. If you are reading this blog, chances are fairly good that you are a Done, too (or are at least considering it). For your sake I hope you have close fellowship with other believers because it can be very difficult to find. If the institution does one thing well, it's that it makes it obvious both when and where meetings are taking place.
Why is it difficult to come in contact with other believers who are seeking authentic relationships in a simple model? One reason, as I alluded to above, is that it's not obvious during the normal comings and goings of life who simple church Christians are. Frankly, it's usually difficult to even spot the Christians, much less those looking for something different from the institutional norm. We don't wear patches that say "Seeking Simple Church" or anything like that.
Additionally, most folks who have departed the institution are wary of getting involved too quickly with other Christians. This is because of scarring from what they've left behind. Nobody wants to get into another bad situation.
A third factor is that Christians in general are increasingly looking for true relationships. Even those within the institutional walls want to really know people. As for simple church, those seeking it do not want anything forced; they want it to be natural. This takes time. Because we don't want to rush into making a mistake, sometimes very little ends up happening.
A final hurdle that we have to deal with is living in the Bible Belt. In the southern USA most folks still trust institutional Christianity. This is much more the case here than in other locales. It's weird. I'll be thrilled when these last remnants of Christendom pass away (which will occur I'm convinced within the next 25 years). For now, not that many Christians here are looking outside the institution because they still see it as a really good thing.
I apologize for the rambling nature of this post. My hope is that you can sense my struggles. It is difficult to want something real, something authentic, something wonderful but not be able to find it. I'm not seeking heaven on this side of death. However, I'm looking for something that I read about in the book of Acts. So far no success.