Survey gives 4 reasons why people change churches, author gives 5 reasons when it is OK to quit

According to this recent article, a Pew Research study (sounds like a pun in this context) has revealed four primary reasons why people change churches:

  • Sermon quality
  • Welcoming environment/people
  • Style of worship
  • Location

In my opinion, one reason is hopeful, one is expected, one is typical and one is practical.

The author of the post (who, along with his wife, serve as “lead pastors”) comes to some conclusions that I believe are quite honest. He says, “The translation is clear – Americans treat church like a product to consume instead of as a family to belong. When we treat church like a product, we consume until our needs are no longer met. … Too often people leave a church because of disagreement, not getting their way, or because the sermons are no longer deep enough. Often when we dig into the reason the sermons are not deep enough, it ultimately goes back to the person being offended or not having their faulty theologies endorsed from the pulpit.

The author goes on to offer his thoughts on when it is “OK” to quit church … five of them to be exact (to be fair, I believe the author intends for the word “church” to be equated with “congregation”):

  • It’s OK to leave if God calls us to leave
  • It’s OK to leave for family and marriage
  • It’s OK to leave a church if you have moved too far away to conveniently drive to your church
  • It’s OK to leave if you cannot follow the church’s leadership
  • It’s OK to leave if heresy is being preached.

In my opinion, one reason is questionable, one is expected, one is practical, one is typical and one is hopeful. Similar to my opinion before, but in a different order.

Articles like these are interesting to me, not because I believe they should validate or negate the church’s direction in regards to mission, purpose or correction, but rather because it helps us to understand the perspectives that are being shared with the “general church public.” Such knowledge gives us the chance and opportunity to be better equipped when it comes to presenting the truth of God in a 2 Timothy 4:2 and a 1 Peter 3:15 sort of way.

#church-life, #preparation, #survey

Don’t go to church

You read the title right. I’m telling you not to go to church. Do this instead: Continue reading

#church-life, #language, #mindset, #worship-services

Does anybody talk about unity anymore, &c.

The ritual of religion distances people from God, and not a few of them sense it, intuitively, it seems. Progressives, oddly enough, are running away from hypocrisy and pharisaism, so they say, into the embrace of an emotional and, yes, denominational expression. Doesn’t it seem as if they’re falling into the error they claim to be escaping from?

• Ritualism and religion complicate making the case for the necessity of the church as a part of life in Christ. Denominationalists themselves downplay their idea of church in the process of salvation, while, at the same time, exalt their own sectarian group to the heavens. I’ve seen it, it happens. No doubt about it.

• The German Lutheran theologian Joachim Jeremias wrote that justification by faith wasn’t a central tenet of Pauline theology, since it appeared only in polemics against Judaizers, or something along those lines. So you see it in Romans and Galatians, mainly. Jeremias must have had Luther spinning in his grave. I was reading a bit of Jeremias yesterday and ran across his point. You think he’s right?

• On the Findley church’s new website, Dwight Fuqua, whom I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure to meet,  writes about unity as “A Precious Thing” and lists six truths about it that “we need to know.” Is it my imagination, or has unity become a non-issue these days? Of course, the trojan horse of the World Convention is still rolling around the world every four years, but most progressive churches seem to be so concerned about doing their own thing or, rather, reproducing the emerging-church model, that the conversation has changed. Maybe they consider it a done deal.

Fifth, we need to know that we must accept a common standard to be united. Paul wrote, “Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind” (Philippians 3:16). The Bible is that standard, that rule. Unity is a precious thing!

Good that some people still talk this language. Continue reading

#church-life, #church-unity, #corollaries, #denominationalism, #life-in-christ