Have you ever felt disillusioned with Church? You should have, because we all do from time to time, or if you are like me, all the time. But have you ever wondered why it is so easy to be disillusioned with Church? My sources of frustration are simple; people who hurt me, the political nature of the leaders, the inward focus, neglecting the poor, not caring about the outside world have all caused me to feel disfranchised with the Church.
I have realized however that I have false expectations from the Church. I realized this reading through the new testament epistles. I challenge you to read Paul's letters to the various Churches (Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians). You realize how messed up those churches were. People getting drunk during communion (that would have been me), sleeping around with each other, suing each other, families and marriages being ripped apart. It was messed up. Paul's approach was not to throw in the towel and leave, his approach was to rebuke and love.
I had to let go. I was expecting too much out of my church and feeling responsible for it. I had to come to terms with the fact I do not give an account before God for this Church, the leadership does.
Biblically, the "Church" are all the believers in Christ. The Bible calls the Church Jesus' Bride. God promised to protect it. We conform to his image as we are cleansed by his blood to be presented a chaste virgin to Jesus. So if God and Jesus and the Church are so great, why are so many Churches so bad? Your local Church is a man-made, man-run entity. The leadership is fallible, the organization may not work, the structure may be littered with inefficiencies, the Church will do things you do not like, always. But, the local church is a tool God uses to protect, nourish, equip and send out believers to do the mission of God. The Church will not be infallible, the pastors will not be perfect, nor should you expect them to be.
Once I let go of that, I could see the local Church for the appropriate role it plays in my life.
Results: A whole lot more love, and a whole lot less bitterness.