The pastors also pointed to the tendency of many churches to have worship songs and messages that center on individual religious practices rather than the community of faith, a problem they called "Spiritual Do-It-Yourself."
"It is not that different than why people show up to the gym. ... You're fine if other people are in your spinning class but you don't care if they're really there. You're there for you," Packiam explained.
"So we've taught people to say that church is about your relationship with God, your experience with God, your self-development, your growth, instead of saying that 'Church is how God forms us as a family.'
"Even the content of our sermons, the content of our songs — look, singular pronouns I's, me's, and my's in songs, are not automatically problematic, but in this day-in-age, I think they might be a little problematic because we're not reinforcing to people that we're part of a 'Big We.'"
Arndt stressed that it's an urgent issue to "recover the sense that the church is a people."
"Our identity is that we are a part of a people," he stated. "What we offer is not a religious product but we offer ourselves."
The church has an important message to convey, he added. "[God's] not trying to whisk a bunch of souls away into Heaven. He's trying to bring Heaven to Earth. ... Being part of the church is not like this is a real help to my spiritual quest. No, church is the spiritual quest."