April 14, 2007

New Survey--Why People Leave Their Church

Do you ever wonder why people jump churches? Maybe it's just a pastoral thing but then again, have you ever switched churches? Maybe a better question would be, how many times have you switched churches? (Moving away doesn't count.)

According to a recent poll supposedly "doctrine and church beliefs" were found to be the most important reasons as to why adults switch churches. I said "supposedly" because honestly, I don't believe it. I don't believe it because first of all, so few American Christians have ever read through the Bible even one time that they couldn't possibly know sound doctrine from bologna. And with pulpit exposition of the Scriptures being so poor as the norm, again, discernment is impossible.

Rather, I contend that what many Christians might describe as "doctrinal differences" or differences in church belief, more often than not, boil down to unmet expectations or personal preference which, because of the personal nature of both--given our intrinsically self-absorbed demeanor--take on the weight of a biblical absolute.

Now that's not to say that there aren't legitimate reasons for switching churches but the high and lofty sounding reason about doctrine is disingenuous and puts the church that has been left, in a shadow of biblical illegitimacy.

Christians need to be honest with themselves and admit that they usually leave a church because they can't get their way.

The next reason given for why another church may be sought out is due to the preaching at the former church. I am more sympathetic to this reason even though it is extremely subjective.

There's never an excuse for inaccurate teaching of God's Word but I have known numerous preachers who are dead on as to biblical accuracy yet head snappingly boring. As a preacher, I find that inexcusable as well.

Jesus said we "search the Scriptures because in them we have life" and I find life pretty exciting. And if I can't communicate the great words of God with passion and excitement and relevance and integrity, it's probably time to seek another avenue of ministry.

To the preacher I say, listen to yourself now and again and better still, watch a video of yourself. If you can't keep yourself attentive, what makes you think you'll hold your congregation?

The meaning is everything, that's true, but what would you rather watch--A big screen HD presentation or a 12 inch, black and white, with rabbit ear antennae? I trust I have made my point.


Post a Comment

<< Home