THERE ARE DOZENS OF DIFFERENT WAYS TO “DO” CHURCH! I know what I believe but could argue for and against a lot of things. Elder leadership, deacons, “simple church” model, “attractional” models, “missional” models, Purpose Driven models, mission strategies, big buildings, no buildings, alter calls, LIFE Groups, home groups, worship styles, creativity….etc, etc…and blah, blah, blah! Don’t get me started on the different theological points that we could debate…..
But here is the deal…I also know where my church stands on all of those issues…I stand with my church! Not in violation of my conscience and certainly not in violation of Scripture…. but in support of the leadership, plan and direction my pastor (leadership of the church) has determined we should go. It is freeing to have convictions that differ from my church (insignificant issues) and a conviction to uphold and support the local body that I serve. THE TRUTH IS: You will never serve a church that you are in 100% agreement with every little thing that is done…ever! So enjoy where God has planted you for this season.
ANSWERING THE “BIGGER” QUESTIONS RIGHT:
1. CAN I STILL REACH PEOPLE WITH THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST AND REMAIN AT MY CHURCH? If you can answer this question “YES” then the rest fades away nicely. Just focus on that and you may be suprised at how your frustration will vanish.
2. DOES WHAT WE DO AS A CHURCH VIOLATE SCRIPTURE? (not my opinion, convictions or preferences BUT SCRIPTURE). If the answer is “NO” then you might be struggling with simply “wanting what you want”. I know of folks who leave a church based on the “fact” that the church violates Scripture BUT really the church is just violates their PREFERENCES.
3. CAN I SUPPORT MY PASTOR? (Leadership) If “NO” then you may have a legitimate reason to leave OR you may have a real problem with authority. The reasons that 1 Peter 2: 13-17 was written is because we all wrestle with being told what to do… referees, teachers, cops, bosses…all represent authority that most folks “rub against”. The testimony of someone who can come under authority is honoring to God… 13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.