It is a shame that here at the underpinning of the argument Grady just misses the mark. The biggest reason why people drop out of church is not that they were hurt by other Christians but that they were hurt by leadership. This is no small distinction beloved. Most Christians who have left their churches have done so over doctrine. The purpose driven church teaches new pastors that it is ok to let sheep go if they are disagreeing with the new purpose driven direction. That alone is blasphemous to the true nature of the body of Christ.
"1. The church is Christ's body on earth. With all its flaws, the church is still God's Plan A. Jesus announced before He went to the cross: "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). Jesus intends to use the church--even in its weakness--as His primary tool to reach the world with the gospel. Heaven does not have a Plan B. Jesus is the head of his church (see Col. 1:18) and we are His hands and feet. To reject the church is to reject God's ultimate strategy to bring heaven's kingdom on earth." -- J. Lee Grady
If a church has some infrastructure needs or a small parking lot -- those are "flaws." No one leaves church over flaws. The difference Grady needs to understand is that the body of Christ is God's plan A, not the church. The gates of hades will not prevail against the uncompromised church. If Grady thinks that the devil is cowed by sneaky squid spirits or false prophecies about carnal political leaders he is sadly mistaken. God has zero intention of reaching anyone with anything other than the Gospel. Only the Gospel has the power of God unto the salvation of man and yes the church is the chosen vehicle for the deliverance of that Gospel. When churches decide to no longer preach the Gospel then it is no longer being used by God. Don't believe me? Let us look a few verses prior to the key verses:
Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. -- Acts 20: 26-27 (ESV)
Paul tells the leaders at Ephesus that had he not preached the uncompromised Gospel then their blood would have been on his hands. It is not the church that people are rejecting Mr. Grady -- it is apostasy.
"2. The Holy Spirit has called us to work and flow together. When we were born again and baptized, the Bible says we were mystically unified with all other born-again believers and connected to each other by the Holy Spirit. The Lord also connects people in local congregations. This connection is holy, and we should never make light of it or damage it. Paul told the Ephesians to "preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" by being in close fellowship with each other (Eph. 4:3). To reject this union of believers is to dishonor the work of the Spirit." -- J. Lee Grady
This is fascinating. The first statement is correct. When we were born again, we were born into the family of believers. The second statement is incorrect. There is no biblical support that the Lord connects people in local congregations and that these are somehow holy. The harsh reality is that the vast majority of people in any church are unsaved. Thus there is no bond of unity with them at all. The purpose driven model draws the unsaved and expels the brethren. It caters to the lost while starving the sheep. The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth to discern these things. Ignoring THAT is to dishonor the Spirit. What is Grady saying here? That to correctly discern false doctrine and separate from it is somehow dishonoring to God? Seriously?
"3. God accomplishes more through His corporate people than through isolated individuals. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit worked primarily through the nation of Israel, and through individuals who had special callings and remarkable courage. But in the age of the New Covenant, the Spirit dwells in every Christian believer, and the corporate church makes a much bigger impact. This is why Jesus told His disciples after He went to the cross that we would do "greater works" than He did on earth (see John 14:12). And because healthy churches can pool resources and organize volunteers, they are able to offer ministry to children, youth, families, singles, the needy and the lost overseas--in a way you could never do while sitting home alone." -- J. Lee Grady