Author Andy Crouch, in a recent Christianity Today article, says "The apostle Paul wrote that the eye cannot say it has no need of the foot, yet "I have no need for you is written all over the way we do Christianity in America." So that might be a little harsh, but is it true?
In the context of each person discovering their gifts & talents and using them to their fullest, there seems to be some progress. No scientific research here, just reporting what my open eyes tend to see. People are serving (though not all) and people do discover their gifts and utilize them that promote the kingdom (though not all) and churches do try to help individuals find their gifts and get them into the game (OK, so not all).
But is it true that many on the fringes, those who have some spiritual interest but aren't quite sure they want to be labeled yet as a "fundamentalist" or lumped into the likes of Jerry, Jim, Pat et al, those who are just peeking behind the curtain to see what this is all about, those who may have an attraction to this guy named Jesus but not necessarily an attraction to his followers... what are they experiencing? Is it alienation? Frustration? Wondering how long it takes before they're really accepted by folks who talk a lot about acceptance but maybe aren't so good at the practice of it? Is the church going out of its way to not just meet these folks where they are, but to give them some ownership? Or are those who keep the machine running too busy keeping the machine running to spend any time cultivating those "diamond in the rough" gifts that are scattered throughout the church (like chads in a Florida voting booth).