My generation (“Gen-X”) and those just a little younger (“Millennials”) are very moved by causes. This is true for those who follow Jesus, and those who don’t. Unfortunately, sometimes Believers get the idea that they can serve Christ without “organized religion” as though they can believe in Christ and ignore his Body.
Don’t get me wrong, we are called to be change-agents in the culture. Digging wells, caring for orphans, doing justice in this world, feeding the hungry, building homes, clothing the homeless etc… are all excellent results of the gospel in a believer’s life, but they are the least part of the gospel. It’s about Jesus and his work on the cross. It’s also about his church.
Listen to the words of the Apostle Peter:
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace…
So yes, serve the Lord by caring for his creation including all the people in it, but if you neglect the church, you’ve missed it.
The church isn’t perfect, far from it, but this is God’s plan for the world. Are you gifted? Why do you think you’re gifted? In some way, it’s gotta include the church.
Remember Jesus’ words:
Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.
What if you gave your life to feeding the hungry, clothing the sick, caring for the earth, and doing all kinds of justice in the world, but never did anything for Jesus’ brothers? Well, what Jesus will say to that one is “Depart from me…” (cf. v.41)
It’s just something to think about… don’t let your “cause” become your “christ.”
Do good, but do it as a part of the body of Christ, change the world, but do it through the church (and with all the accountability and encouragement that comes with belonging to a local church).
Besides, maybe it’s just that all these imperfect churches need people like you to help them 🙂