Friday, July 30, 2010

Good Reasons to Leave a Church?

I've been wanting to interact with this helpful and thoughtful post by Jason Helopoulos on good reasons to leave a church. The author states that he has been thinking about this topic for the past ten years. I cannot claim that, but it is a topic which has been much on my mind for the past three years.

At any rate, it is obvious from the clock on my wall that I will not be able to accomplish this interaction today. However, I would like to draw your attention to it and invite your comments here on it. I will attempt to post some thoughts next week.

The author gives four good reasons for moving on, three possible reasons for moving on, and eight reasons often used which are insufficient. Here are his "four good reasons:"

1. Providential moving—If my job, family, or life has moved me from Dallas to Austin then I should probably find a local church in Austin, let alone if I moved from Michigan to North Carolina. It is right and good to belong to a local church and covenant with brothers and sisters in my own “backyard.”

2. Planting another church—It may be that I haven’t left my home town, but the church I belong to has decided to send me out with others to plant another church in the area. Notice though, that I am being sent out by my church, not leaving with a group of people because I am disgruntled or think it is a good idea.

3. Purity has been lost— It may take different forms, but primarily this occurs when the Word is no longer proclaimed. It could be that heresy is being taught, the Bible is never read or preached, or a much more prominent manifestation these days is that the Word is no longer seen as sufficient; it is used as a seasoning for the message of the week rather than the diet by which the congregation is fed and nourished upon. However, we must be careful here; patience should always be exercised and I must always test my own heart to see if I am “making a mountain out of a molehill.”

4. Peace of the church is in jeopardy due to my presence— This “reason” is hard to suggest for fear of it being abused, as it is by far the most subjective “reason.” However, there are cases where an individual/family can personally become a hindrance to the ministry of the local church and it is best for that person/family to move-on. If this is the reason I am contemplating leaving the church, then I must first test myself and discern whether it is because of sin on my own part. If that is the case then I must be quick to repent rather than move-on. This “reason” should always be approached with trepidation.

What do you think? Can these reasons be supported by Scriptural reasoning?

(Read the entire post here.)

1 comment:

ThirstyMan said...

Regarding reason number 1 - I would suggest that it would be better for a man and his family (if he has one) to move to find a good church and then seek a job there rather than leave a good church in order to take a better job.