I was thinking last night about something that I wish I would never have to think about again. I was dwelling on the faces of a couple who no longer attend our church. I know that it shouldn’t but it always bothers me when someone chooses not to attend. It’s always amazing to me how my logical mind can see all of the new families and excitement and yet the emotional part of me is still bothered for months about a few who have made a decision to do something else.
I think the reason that it bothers me is that no one learns anything and no one grows. You see it’s easy to quit. Pastors quit when leading gets hard or resistance is felt or they feel unappreciated. Church members quit when they feel unattended, uncared for or unheard. I have decided that even if a pastor faces difficulties and IS unappreciated and even if church members ARE uncared for and unheard you should NEVER QUIT! I have friends in the ministry that believe that it’s better for some people to move on to some other church. I wholeheartedly disagree!
My rational for that statement comes from thinking about what the purpose of the church is. Our foremost commission is certainly reaching the lost, but secondary only to that is the discipleship and growth of the members of the Body of Christ. Now do you suppose that the development of character and REAL strength comes from ease or difficulty? The difficulty of living in proper relation with others in the Body of Christ causes us to grow and become stronger. Perhaps the thing about your church that you dislike the most, is there by God’s design to change who and what you are. Perhaps it’s time that we as members of the Body of Christ put away the consumer mindset that says we should always have everything we want and we will shop until we find a church custom made for us and determine that we will learn, change, and grow to fill our place of ministry right where we are.
You can be sure that Satan is watching. If there is a thing that can cause you to quit, then you can be sure that it’s on the way. I have said for years to my congregations that the chance of me offending you is 100%. Stick around long enough and my life will be moving across yours. It’s in that moment that you and I both learn and grow. If we quit neither of us learns anything!
Just some thoughts!