Pastor’s Article 2/22/2022

One of the things that causes a pastor the most pain & sorrow is when a church member decides to leave the church. Unfortunately, in our day & age, this is a fairly common occurrence.

People leave for all kinds of reasons. Some of the more common ones include:

“I’m not being fed.”

“I found another church more to my liking.”

Something happened (or something was said)

that offended me.”

Sadly, only once in my 24 years of pastoral ministry has a member called me to explain their leaving. (This person even treated me to lunch.) In every other instance (to my recollection), the member simply left.

A Poor Reflection

This reflects poorly on the modern church and modern church life. It shows that too many of us are mere “consumers” of spiritual goods. So long as we’re getting what we want, we stay put; but, as soon as we think we can get a better “deal” elsewhere, we bail.

Moreover, in bailing so quickly and casually, it demonstrates that the relationships that were built mean very little. This is probably what makes the member’s leaving so painful.

Hey, I get it . . . we can rub each other the wrong way sometimes. Be around FBC long enough (like a month) and we’re bound to disappoint or offend you. Be around me long enough and I will disappoint or offend you!

Striving for Maturity

I think we should strive for more maturity in our relationships.

Many offenses should be overlooked (see Proverbs 19:11). Other offenses should be resolved biblically. This involves going to the person who offended you and bringing the offense to their attention (see Matthew 18).

Many offenses are simply misunderstandings that can cleared up very quickly. In other cases, the offender will apologize and seek forgiveness. When that happens, it’s a beautiful thing – a true demonstration of the gospel!

A Classy Withdrawal

This is not to say it’s never appropriate to leave a church. Certainly if the church isn’t preaching/teaching the Bible, you need to get out of there. Also, if the church doesn’t have a “gospel culture,” you probably ought to leave.

A “gospel culture” is one in which church leaders & members are striving to live the gospel in their daily lives, especially the qualities of humility, justice and mercy (see Micah 6:8).

I admit I’m biased, but I believe we have a gospel culture at FBC. I see evidence of it nearly every day!


Pastor Dan