[vimeo id="92254890"] I had the privilege of leading two congregations – one in Los Angeles and the other in Chicago. I served as lead pastor for well over a decade and was able to experience a great deal of the ministry life. One unfortunate common theme that I became familiar with was the fact that people leave and move to other churches for the wrong reasons. As a pastor this can be discouraging, however, there are sometimes good reasons for people to move on, but many times the reasons are really poor. Today, I’d like to highlight a few really bad reasons for leaving your church.
First, You may think that you’re not being fulfilled. As Christians, we often fool ourselves into thinking that we attend church simply because the pastor has to cater to our needs, and if he does not, we protest by leaving. It’s true that the pastor has to contribute to your spiritual health, but ultimately, it’s everyone’s personal responsibility to oversee his or her own development. Not only that, but Christians must continually grow and work to the point where they are not only being fed spiritually, but also begin to contribute to the growth of others. The scriptures are very clear on this issue – Christians must mature to the point that they begin to contribute to the health of the church as a whole.
Second, You don’t agree with all the teaching. The bottom line is that there will always be disagreement between people. As such, you will not see eye to eye on everything that is always preached; actually, this is a good thing. A healthy discussion is always good for personal and relational development. When you find yourself in disagreement – ask questions. It’s the only way you will find explanation about the issue you don’t understand. In fact, the pastor will really appreciate the fact that you brought it up because it shows you were actually listening to the message! So, as long as your pastor isn’t teaching outright heresy, don’t feel as if you need to leave; feel free to disagree.
Finally, You don’t like the music. This is perhaps the most contentious issue in the church today and, quite frankly, probably the silliest. God loves it when we worship Him and bring Him glory. He doesn’t care what genre of music we play for His glory – He only cares that it glorifies Him. Christ-followers tend to think that a time of worship is intended to cater to their needs when in reality, it’s intended for God and Him alone. Style in songs may change, but the intention behind it all is to only worship Jesus. Music is an art that will continually change through the decades – it’s a part of the creative nature in our God-given divine design. So, even though you may not like every song, just remember – it’s for God.
So, when you’re thinking about making a transition from your current church, make sure you’re making the transition because of the right reasons.
I hope these few thoughts have encouraged and challenged you today. What are some reasons that you would add to this list and why?
I’d love to hear from you – feel free to respond on my blog – have a great day!