People leave churches for good reasons and for bad. These are some of the worst reasons I’ve heard at our church with translation of what they really mean:
10. The Church is getting to big.
[Translation] I’m not as important as I used to be.
For those with this excuse, I have one question… have you read up on heaven? In Revelation it says the redeemed are: “a great multitude that no one could number” Revelation 7:9
Solution: Get in a small group. Invest your time in a few. Small group is a great way for you to have a few strong relationships in a growing church. The first thing Jesus did when He began ministry was create a small group. But He still preached to tens of thousands.
9. The Pastor has lost the anointing.
[Translation] I’m not down with the preaching anymore.
I’m always amazed at this because the ones who say it usually have the LEAST Bible knowledge of all of us.
Solution: Trying thinking about how the preaching might be aimed at someone far from God (which may eventually be you if you keep acting superior to everyone else).
8. The music is _________. (Fill in the blank: Too loud, soft, long, short, or … lost the anointing)
[Translation] I’m stuck in my paradigm for church worship from when I REALLY LIKED IT and I want to go back to that time.
People who say this amaze me. For them there is no thought about the next generation while pop-culture continues to evolve and WIN THE BATTLE for the hearts and minds of young people. Musical style is a language – it WILL change for each generation, there is no stopping it. Why should the church remain outdated to make YOU happy?
7. I’m not being fed.
[Translation] I think I’m more spiritual/knowledgeable than everyone.
Solution: FEED someone else. My daughter is 10. If she were still waiting for me to cut her steak and spoon feed her that would make her developmentally challenged. Yet some Christians stay that way for 20-30 years. Open your Bible, let God feed you directly and then invite others to your church who need to know all the stuff you have “memorized”! (Sarcasm here).
6. The Church asks for money too much.
[Translation] I’m cheap toward God.
There is no nice way to say this. We live in a culture where people will go into debt to buy anything from HDTVs to plastic surgery, but FREAK OUT when the church wants to build a home base for the sinners in our society. Pah-lease! You don’t get mad when the cable bill comes every month, do you? Ministry costs money.
5. I don’t feel loved.
[Translation] I have slowly eroded my interest here to the point where no one even knows me anymore and now I use that as a convenient excuse to walk out the door.
Solution: Love someone. Love is an action. Sheesh.
4. The Pastor is too controlling.
[Translation] I have no respect for spiritual authority.
Amazing how American Christians are so quick to dismiss ecclesiastical authority YET expect the blessing from God in the authority roles of their lives. Parents, your children are watching you… eventually they will be copying you. Just a thought.
3. I’m feeling led to leave.
[Translation] I don’t have a reasonable excuse so I’m playing the God card and you cannot question it!
Sometimes this is true, God leads you out of a church (actually He removes you). But when we just “throw” this one out because we got nothing else, it’s a sign of spiritual immaturity the devil is very proud of.
2. No one came to visit me at the hospital.
[Translation] I’m not being served and I’m not willing to serve.
We had someone in the hospital once who did not notify us they where there, then came back after only missing ONE service and blamed us for not visiting them. Yep. This kind of thing ACTUALLY happens in church. If you’re looking for that 4th grade maturity level – some churches would be perfect for you.
1. I’m offended
[Translation] none necessary.
I only have to say, “Offense is taken, not given.” Solution: Jesus told us what to do, as always he puts the onus on us: “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you.” Matthew 18:15. If you are offended, and that offense is the result of sin – YOU have the responsibility to tell them about it. You cannot assume they know or were aware. But it must be a “sin”, not just something you didn’t like.
I wonder what kind of church we could have in America if every one of us got over ourselves. You, me and everyone in between. I’ve had my share of bad experiences in the church, but for the last 15 years, I’ve been at the SAME church, attending, serving, on staff, and now leading. If you are faithful where God plants you – HE WILL PROSPER YOU.
Drop the excuses before you become useless.