They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be evident that they all are not of us. – 1 John 2:19

In my experience as the pastor of a local church, there were those moments when church folk found an unacceptable measure of disagreement and moved their membership elsewhere. While this was never a pleasant experience, it was sometimes understandable. While every church should be open to every person who believes, not every person will find your church acceptable.

We live in an age of consumerism and people often shop for the “right” church as they would a pair of shoes, looking for the right “fit.” They will simply keep moving until they find it, or just keep moving. Others struggle with change, any change. Unfortunately for them, evangelistic churches are almost always in a state of change. Churches are “organisms” and when a new “cell” joins itself to the “body” that organism remains Christ’s Body, but it also mutates. Churches that never change, never grow, and eventually die.

There are, of course, also those times when people leave a church for godly or benign reasons (for example: an unbiblical direction or a simple disagreement in purpose). Whatever a person’s reasons for leaving a church, a leader should always pay attention, for one way to measure church health is to consider who is walking away and why.

If you happen to be the one thinking of leaving, don’t, at least not until you are convinced of where God wants you to go.

I think the greatest weakness in the church today is that almost no one believes that God invests His power in the Bible. Everyone is looking for power in a program, in a methodology, in a technique, in anything and everything but that in which God has placed it—His Word. He alone has the power to change lives for eternity, and that power is focused on the Scriptures. – R. C. Sproul

Published by Dr. David Pope

Dr. David Pope is the Founder and CEO of Pope Initiatives. ARM Solutions is a division of Pope Initiatives that exists to activate collaborative efforts for sustainable impact among the global unreached.

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