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Leader's Insight: Who Really Needs Church?

Coping with the death of ecclesiology.

As a pastor's wife and ministry leader, I'm used to getting all sorts of weird questions and comments about the ministry lifestyle and being married to a pastor. (Most recent: "Shouldn't you be making a casserole right now?") But one of the more intriguing comments I've heard occurred during a conversation with a woman last summer at a VBS picnic.

The woman, a member of another church, started with the usual "What's-it-like-to-be-married-to-a-pastor?" line of inquiry, but then remarked that she didn't really know her own pastor except for his sermons on Sundays. She imagined it would be different to get to know a pastor in another context such as pastoral care or counseling, rather than just Sundays. But then came the kicker: "I forget that some people really need church."

Her comment has stuck with me for months. This woman obviously went to church regularly and even served in leadership roles, but didn't feel like she really needed church. As a ministry leader, I've generally assumed people, ...

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