Posted by: Veroni Kruger | February 14, 2011


A few years ago, the pastor of the church we were attending at the time asked me a brave question: “Are you happy in my church?” After trying unsuccessfully to avoid giving him a direct answer, I eventually had to own up: “To tell you the truth, no!”

Of course, he could not really avoid the next question: “Why is that?”

“Because I have not been aware of the presence and power of God in your church for a very long time. “

I believe in saying that, I was expressing the thought of many Christians. It’s not that we are bent on instant gratification, or focused on artificial spiritual “highs” (on the contrary), or seeking the sensational (definitely not!). It’s also not because we have become self-centred, and want everything to be exactly as we would like it – with the great variety of churches around today, anybody should be able to find one that suits their taste, if that were the problem.

Human beings need God, in every aspect of our lives. God made us like that, and He wants to meet us at the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical levels. Furthermore, Jesus said He would be present wherever people met in his name, that is, because He commanded them to do so. We are therefore to expect the reality of God’s presence when we meet together.

We are told to “just believe”, and not to seek any real sign of what we are needing. Yet the Bible tells us of manifestations of God’s presence. This took on different forms: From intense joy, to peace, to manifestations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, to changes in people’s lives, even to physical happenings like buildings shaking … and many more, as diverse as the wonderful, diverse God we serve.

John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard movement, a few months after becoming a Christian, asked of his church leaders: “When are we going to start doing the stuff?” His problem was that he read in the Bible how Jesus did the stuff (healing, driving out demons, changing lives …) and fully expected that to happen anywhere believers were gathered.

After struggling financially on the stipend he was receiving as a singer in the synagogue, Yussel, the cantor’s son (in the movie The Jazz Singer, with Neil Diamond) left, saying “God don’t pay so good!”

Looking at many churches (most, in my experience) where dead is good enough, mere ritual is supposed to be “life”, fear of manifestations is the norm, we feel inclined to say: “God ain’t revealing Himself so good anymore!” Thank God, this is not true. The problem lies not with God, but with ourselves. The tragedy is that many people, particularly young people, leave the church to seek reality, often finding only the sorry imitation of it, elsewhere.

I hope you will think about this, and see what I write next week.



  1. This is really deep and food for thought. I am thinking of a friend from my childhood who recently said “I am longing for the church that no longer exist.” The challenge as I see it, lies with the liturgy that becomes the law and order. Yes, order is good, but we organize the Holy Spirit right out of the church. So sad. So sad. I think we have become more important than God.


    • Dankie vir die kommentaar. Ons bid maar vir beter dae.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Alexander F. Venter

Live a life of love as Jesus loved us...

Attempting Authenticity

real life. real writing.


Life worth living

Martha Elizabeth Kruger

creativity, passion, love

%d bloggers like this: