When I read this article, it both convicted and inspired me.
It starts with this:
Spiritual formation occurs primarily in the context of community. Persons who remain connected with their brothers and sisters in the local church almost invariably grow in self-understanding. And they mature in their ability to relate in healthy ways to God and to fellow human beings. This is especially the case for those courageous Christians who stick it out through the messy process of interpersonal conflict. Long-term relationships are the crucible of genuine progress in the Christian life. People who stay grow.
People who leave do not grow.
I don’t have any good answers or solutions, but I think Hellerman’s words define much of where we are, and where we should be going as spiritual families who are committed to each other for the sake of Christ and His reputation.
This convicted me:
It is our individualism—our insistence that the rights and satisfaction of the individual must take priority over any group to which one belongs—that has seriously compromised our ability to stay in relationship and grow with one another as God intends.