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CHURCH

Let’s be honest, while there are some good reasons for leaving a church, there are a lot more bad ones. As a pastor, I hear some of them every now and again. Here are five really bad reasons to leave a Church:

small is a sad and unbiblical goal.

When churches are faithful to the Great Commission, lives will be changed and people will be added to their number. Growth is inevitable for faithful and healthy churches. If you have a problem with big churches, you . “I’m not being fed” really wouldn’t have liked the first As a pastor with a teaching gift church, and you definitely won’t I take my job of feeding God’s like heaven. Instead of seeing size people VERY seriously. But there as a negative, learn to appreciate are also lots of other things vying all the variety and influence that a for my time: managing staff, big church can achieve. meeting needs, putting out fires and developing leaders – all while . “I don’t agree with overseeing the overall vision and everything that is being direction of the church. Years preached” ago a man in our church had a vision. He saw adults sitting in Guess what? Neither do I and I’m baby highchairs with a dummy in the pastor. As such I fully reserve their mouth. God showed him that the right to disagree with myself. many Christians are like that – big And every now and then I do babies who still cry every time they exactly that, because I’m learning, growing & asking questions, and want someone else to feed them. my hope is that you are doing the To leave a church because you’re same. I trust the pulpit at Bayside not getting “enough” is a cop out. Church to our team members Your primary call in the church is & visiting ministries and I don’t to contribute, not just to consume. always agree with everything that As a Christian, you shouldn’t is said or the way they say it but, require spoon-feeding for the rest unless it is rank heresy, I just let it of your life. Eventually you need slide because we’re all learning and to learn how to feed yourself so growing together. that, in time, you can actually feed others. Remember, your call is Chances are you are not going not just to be a disciple but also to to agree with everything that is make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20) preached anywhere. We need to learn to disagree on secondary issues. . “It’s getting too big”

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I can appreciate the sense of loss that accompanies growth. When Bayside Church began 22 years ago we were a small band of Christians who could all fit into one living room. It feels very different now that we are a large church spread across multiple services & sites. There are moments when I miss the intimacy and simplicity of those early days. But remaining

He continues to build it. And one day, He’ll come back for it. It’s His. This is the same Jesus who came to seek and to save the lost and then commissioned his Church to go and do the same. The Church doesn’t just exist to meet your needs. You are a part of the Church that exists to meet the needs of the others. Put away the shopping trolley and pick up a shovel!

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. Unresolved Conflict

This is the number one reason people leave a church and of course wherever you find imperfect people you will find conflict. The Church is one big family full of characters and misfits. Sometimes sisters argue and brothers fight. But despite it all, family is supposed to be the place where you stick together even when it’s hard – especially when it’s hard. Paul addressed a lot of church conflict in his letters. Nowhere do we hear him encouraging believers to bail on one another or move on down the road to a different church where it’ll be easier. Instead, much of his letters are his encouraging and coaching these ragamuffin communities in how to do this very hard and messy thing together.

One of the key aspects of the gospel is forgiveness and reconciliation. How will we ever demonstrate these things to the world if we . “My Needs Aren’t Being don’t practice them ourselves? Met”

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People who use this as an excuse to leave a church have bought into the lie that, when it comes to church, it’s really all about “me.” Here’s the problem: the Church actually isn’t about you. It’s about Jesus. It’s His Church. He came for it. He died for it. He redeemed it.

Based on an article written by Aaron Loy in Relevant Magazine. Rob Buckingham is the senior minister of Bayside Church in Melbourne, Australia.

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The Christian Pulse May 2016  

The latest issue of The Christian Pulse is out now. Featuring articles on Political Correctness Gone Mad, How to Talk About God Without Bein...