If You Are Thinking of Leaving a Church . . .
God is adding to our church family. We are seeing new faces and families every week. We are regularly celebrating new members who covenant with us to make Christ known in the world.
Hallelujah! The "word of the year" for CBC is Multiply.
We are praying for God to multiply us. For God to use us to multiply disciples. To multiply pastors and teachers and missionaries. To multiply life groups and Bible study friendships. To multiply children by births and adoptions. Maybe even to multiply churches! Most of all, we are asking God to multiply His glory in the gospel of Christ in and through us this year.
But we also know we will inevitably have to say some goodbyes. Some due to deaths or more accurately "home goings." Some due to members moving away. Some due to members deciding for any number of reasons (whether we agree with those reasons or not) that they should find another church home. So, at the beginning of 2020, it is a good time for us to think on the subject of leaving well. To help us in this task, I want to paste a recent blog, which is actually an excerpt from a book, from Mark Dever. He says it about as well as it can be said.
Editor’s note: The following is from page 57 of Mark Dever’s What Is A Healthy Church?
BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO LEAVE
2. Let your current pastor know about your thinking before you move to another church or make your decision to relocate to another city. Ask for his counsel.
3. Weigh your motives. Is your desire to leave because of sinful, personal conflict or disappointment? If it’s because of doctrinal reasons, are these doctrinal issues significant?
4. Do everything within your power to reconcile any broken relationships.
5. Be sure to consider all the “evidences of grace” you’ve seen in the church’s life—places where God’s work is evident. If you cannot see any evidences of God’s grace, you might want to examine your own heart once more (Matthew 7:3-5).
6. Be humble. Recognize you don’t have all the facts and assess people and circumstances charitably (give them the benefit of the doubt).
IF YOU GO . . .
1. Don’t divide the body.
2. Take the utmost care not to sow discontent even among your closest friends. Remember, you don’t want anything to hinder their growth in grace in this church. Deny any desire to gossip (sometimes referred to as “venting” or “saying how you feel”).
3. Pray for and bless the congregation and its leadership. Look for ways of doing this practically. If there has been hurt, then forgive—even as you have been forgiven.