Why Christians Leave Church – The Missing Body. Many Christians stop going to church or don’t go as often as they once did. This is falling away not from grace but the church. People leave the church because of disillusionment with religion, the politics, spiritual chocking traditionalism or leadership failure. Many of these Christians love God but are sick of “church” as usual. In spite of its faults, the church has been ordained by God, and together we are to be the representation of God in the earth.
People, from all denominations, are falling away from the Church attendance, and sometimes God. Spiritual isolation and the un-churched is not the exception, but sadly a regular occurrence. It is not that these brothers and sisters do not love God, but perhaps because of some emotional, spiritual wound or an inability to fit in with established religion, they refuse to go back to church. The Church is supposed to be your spiritual home, a place to connect with other believers.
When Christians Disappear
You might not know their names, or even noticed when they stopped coming, but they are out there! There are many wounded men, and women who go to church needing acceptance, and healing, only to feel that they are invisible. These believers want to go to church again, but seem to be unable to find their way. If you are one of these spiritually isolated Christians, know that God is not finished with you, and has a place for you in the body of Christ! When I say the body of Christ, I do not necessarily mean the church, but among God’s sanctified believers.
The Benefits of a Smaller Ministry
I may be prejudiced, but when I came to the Lord, I attended a little home fellowship. It was small and intimate, and I was able to ask questions and receive prayer and counseling when I needed it. It was a place where people were mentored and found Godly accountability. That small fellowship has since become a thriving church in the inner city. That little home church has also birthed many, Pastors, Evangelists, Prophets, Teachers and Apostles.
‘Ephesians 4:11-12: And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:’
Many a large ministry had humble beginnings in a home, school or storefront. These pioneers did not mind rolling up their sleeves and working tirelessly with the people in the rural and inner-city neighborhoods.
Should your Church be Well Known?
Some are drawn to big ministries with big name Pastors. Some want to be able to say; my Pastor is Bishop so and so. I feel it is more important to seek God for the ministry you should attend. He knows you and knows what you need. There are churches that have lost the Glory of God, yet they are filled with people. So do not look to attend a ministry, just because it is large. Don’t seek to follow celebrity Pastors.
I sometimes wonder if the megachurch has forever changed the concept of what a successful ministry should look like. A successful ministry has nothing to do with numbers, but rather is the will of God being carried out? There are many wonderful Pastors, of unheard of ministries, who walk humbly before the Lord and serve the people with the heart of a true shepherd. Those are the ones you so seldom hear about, because they may be small or hidden away, but men and women pastor these ministries after God’s heart. Michah 6:8: He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Why Christians Leave Church
I have seen offerings being taken, as a common auction. “Everyone with one hundred dollars, come! If you love the Lord, come running down the aisle now. While the anointing if flowing, run, don’t hesitate! This is your breakthrough, come with your offering.” What about those who have no offering to give. I have seen the offering go from, ” if you have $100,” down to $1.00 finally to, “whatever money you have, bring it now. ” I have seen those with the largest offerings receive a Word from the Lord, while those who gave the widows mite receive and pat on the head for a blessing. This type of manipulation is universal and can turn people off.
Spiritual abuse takes place when the leader is insecure, possessive and believe the member belongs to them, rather than the Lord. There are churches where leaders terrorize the members by threats of being cursed by God, failure or death are common, to try to keep control over the members. This same ministry required to give thirty percent tithes, and stay in mandatory three-day shut-ins with no food or water even for the children.
Every time you turn around, there is a recent church scandal. Pastors are not exempt from the ability to sin. Nor should the use of the scripture, “touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm,” be used to keep people quiet about their immorality. Sin is to be condemned, no matter who commits it. And if there is repentance, the fallen is to refrain from ministry for a period, to be later restored in a spirit of meekness and love. These are the things that drive God’s people from the church and cause them to wander like sheep without a shepherd. God is aware that the church is imperfect as He reveals in the letter to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3.
Lavish Lifestyle of Leaders
Pastors are living in homes worth millions of dollars, while members struggle to maintain their households. Many believers question if they have failed God in some way because He has not blessed like their pastors. when a Pastor drives a $100,000 car and then turns to the congregation and tells them, “see how God will bless you when you serve God?” Is God only the God of the Pastor? Is he not also the God of His people? The Bible says in Matthew 8:20, And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
Jesus, the Son of God, God manifested in the flesh didn’t have a million dollar home, as a matter a fact, he had no home at all. I often wonder how they so-called servants of God (Pastors) can justify owning not one but usually 2 or 3 homes costing millions of dollars. One preacher asked his parishioners and supporters to give him $65,000,000 to buy a jet plane!
Follow Men as they Follow Christ
When I contrast this to the lifestyle of our Lord and Savior, it makes me sick to my stomach to think these men and woman think it is acceptable to use ministry for their gain. No man or woman is so anointed or that important that they deserve to live like king or queens while many of their members are barely making ends meet. It damages the repetition of the church and turns off those who would be Saved and is contrary to the word of god. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Matthew 19:24.
When you contrast this to the lifestyle of our Lord and Savior, you can see they are by no means followers of Christ, but rather carnal and followers of money, fame, possessions, and power. Jesus and his disciples preached the Word of God to the known world during their day, and the walked, rode a donkey and Paul traveled on occasion by ship.
How to Protect your Relationship with God
You can not control what others do, and ultimately you are responsible for only one thing, that is the relationship between God and you. If you are in a spiritual situation where you are unhappy, continue to pray and read the Word of God. You can maintain spiritual strength even in adverse situations. Apostle Paul was in prison for the balance of his life, yet he wrote most of the New Testament. Do not allow what you see around you to steal your joy and intimacy with God.
Remain prayerful and keep in touch with like-minded Christians. God never promised you would have a perfect world, but told us, that in this world we would have tribulation. He ended that scripture with: be of good cheer for I have overcome the world. John 16:33. No matter what the situation, God will give you the strength and grace to go through it and come out on the other side victorious!