The reasons for someone’s frustration in a church vary. Maybe they are upset because of a style change in the church. Maybe a certain program they love and believe in has ended. Maybe they feel like the decisions being made about finances are not the decisions they would make if they were in charge. Maybe they see a change in leadership that they don’t agree with or don’t understand. Maybe the methods are different than what they would choose. Maybe the church is putting a stronger emphasis on outreach, and in their opinion ignoring discipleship. This list isn’t exhaustive.
Not always seeing eye to eye is normal. Having different opinions is normal. But what is sad and breaks the heart of God is that many individuals who get frustrated or leave the church respond in an unloving and ungodly manner, and it creates a chain of negative results.
Where does all of this frustration come from? I believe James 4:1–2 gives us insight about where this problem stems from: “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have.” Isn’t that really the problem? We want our way, and when we don’t get it, we get upset. Whether it’s the man at the hotel or you in the church you attend, if we don’t get our way, we get upset. Many of us create a lot of pain, heartache and damage to the kingdom of God.
A good friend who is pastor of a large church in Asia once told me, “I would never want to pastor in America. The people of your country have no idea what loyalty is.” He went on to say, “The people in my country don’t leave a church simply because they get upset or because they don’t like something. They work it out and talk it out, but they don’t abandon their spiritual family. We are loyal to Jesus and loyal to our church family.”
Loyalty in America runs paper-thin. One of the reasons for this problem is the wide variety of choices we have. This get-what-you-want-when-you-want-it system has bled into other areas of our lives, including our church life. If we aren’t happy with something in the church, or if something doesn’t go our way, we simply wander down the street to the next church or isolate ourselves from relationships and watch our favorite church online. The only problem with this solution is that as soon as the new pastor or church doesn’t live up to our expectations or do things the way we think they should be done, we head off to the next church.
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Source: Relevant Magazine