This topic is addressed to believers who are regular church-goers; those who have made a commitment to a particular church family. It seems these days dedication to a church body tracks pretty closing with the life cycle of today’s marriages. Too many join up with a community of other believers – with like passions, goals, and vision – but the moment needs aren’t met and things start to sour, it’s time to quit, citing irreconcilable differences. The metaphor isn’t perfect, because let’s face it, there are far more legitimate reasons to leave a church than to leave a marriage. But I think it helps illustrate the general lack of commitment dominating today’s culture. Below are six reasons that are not good enough to call it quits on your church.
6 Terrible Reasons to Leave the Church
Sometimes change is good, as long as it is not straying from the core of truth of God’s word. Things like “we don’t sing enough hymns anymore” or “we sing too many hymns now” just aren’t adequate reasons. It is also alarming how many churches are involved in arguments over the use of new technologies. Technology is ever advancing and providing new opportunities to minister and reach out to not only to our own church community and local communities, but also to the world. If you feel embracing technology is a form of adopting “worldly” solutions then may be you also think the transformation caused by the Gutenberg press was a bad idea and we should go back to woodblock printing.
My needs are not being satisfied
If the truths of God’s word are no longer respected and taught, then may be you have a point in moving on; but most of the time this brand of discontentment is a problem of the self-absorbed. If our heart is to serve God and to serve others, many of the gripes in this category would not exist. A person concerned more about the needs of others will not balk and complain when no one cheerfully greets them, or calls when they are out ill; rather they will be more concerned that others are warmly welcomed and needs are being met. If everyone in the church had the “others” mentality, no one would feel left out or uncared for in the church body.
It’s not exciting enough
Does your pastor teach the word? Check. What about the content of the message, is it doctrinally sound? Check. May be he is not the most charismatic and entertaining but can he effectively communicate God’s word. The glitz and glamour of the more heavily funded churches should not be our goal. If the children’s ministry is “lame”, actively participate in making it better; if there is no existing college group, take a part in raising the right person to take on the task. I could go on, but you get the point. Quit looking at other people to bring new life into the church and don’t ditch when it doesn’t happen fast enough.
I don’t agree on how the money is spent
Before you threaten to leave over financial disagreements, take some time to think about the positive impact the church is having. Logistics in check, outreach happening, and the staff getting paid, all represent that something is right. Once the good is determined then approach the disagreement biblically. Prayfully consider your reaction then pray for the pastor and pray for the staff. It is difficult to be ugly toward someone you are praying for. Once you have taken the time to gain the right perspective and you are prayed up, approach the pastor with your concern – all this well before you think about walking away.
You hurt me
First approach the offense in a biblical manner. “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. (Matthew 18:15-17). This method often reveals misunderstandings, opens the door to reconciliation and provokes both repentance and forgiveness, on both sides.
Seek to build commitment
It should be a believer’s aim to foster a culture of unity in the church body through forgiveness and love (John 17:21-23, John 13:34-35, Colossians 3:13, Ephesians 4:31-32). There would be far less broken relationships to the church community if God’s word dominated the heart and mind of the believer. If you are angry, lack forgiveness, or overall self-centered your relationship to any body of believers will be lacking. First work on your own heart so that you can make a biblically sound decision on whether leaving altogether is the right “next step”.