In the last 18 months I have watched 7 men I know in ministry leave their churches out of frustration. They finally just got tired and decided to go somewhere else (4 to other churches, 3 out of ministry all together) because they could not support the “direction” of their church. It was NOT that they had a biblical disagreement (at least nothing significant) it was just that they did not like the style of worship, methods of reaching people, long hours, criticism etc… all culminated in discouragement and finally drove them to “greener pastures”. But of all of these men, ONLY 1 was glad he left his church.
So what do you do if you are feeling trapped but God clearly tells you to stay put?
Over the next few days we will look at several principles that may help you….they sure helped me!
# 1. REMEMBER: YOU CAN EMBRACE THE BIG PICTURE WITHOUT LIKING ALL THE LITTLE STUFF – if your church is doctrinally sound then you will be fine. (I love what Rick Warren says: I believe in the absolute inerrancy of the Bible….just not the inerrancy of my interpretation of the Bible…your’s either.)
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
So it is a little too formal for your liking …the music is so 1990’s (or 1890’s) So your pastor wears a tie! (oh my!) So you have big buildings…enjoy them as a gift from God. So your church openly embrace the tithe… So you have drums in the service or a choir…… so what?
- Can you still serve Jesus there? Then do it!
- Can you still impact lives for the kingdom there? Then do it!
- Can you recruit, equip and launch other people into ministry there? Then do it!
PROBLEM MIGHT BE: Your focus is on the wrong thing (mine was) … maybe it is on yourself, your comfort, your “relevance”.
REMEMBER: You don’t have to agree with everything that your church does, everything your pastor says, or every decision made. You just have to agree to “walk well” with the Lord according to the CORE and CULTURE of the church you serve.
Most folks I know who are reaching people for Christ, training them and sending them out to do the exact same thing…. rarely complain or gripe about what other people are NOT doing, the style they do it or the recognition the receive for doing it. Most Ministers I know who are busy doing the same thing are pretty happy where they are too. And if they leave their church it is to do what they are doing on a grander scale and not out of protest or discouragement.