“And upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18b
“Why didn’t you wear a tie to church today, you pinheaded nitwit?” Lois asked me with a frown on her face. Lois Steam (not her real name) is a woman in our church who complains about everything. Two weeks ago, Lois stomped up to me after church and I could tell she was upset. She continued, “I absolutely hated that song we sang today. What’s with all the handclapping? This is a church, not a disco.” This is a worship service, not a funeral, I thought.
As Lois continued her verbal assault, I never said a word. But I thought things that weren’t very pastor-like. Pray for me.
“Why don’t we go back to singing more from the red hymnals? If Jesus sang from the red hymnal, why can’t we?”
I think you’re wrong. Everybody knows that Jesus sang from the blue hymnal.
“Why didn’t you come check on me after my surgery last week?”
I’m not sure if having an ingrown toenail removed is a surgery worthy of a pastoral visit.
“You need to change your voice. I can’t stand your accent.”
Yes ma’am. I will try to have that done by next Sunday.
“This church isn’t meeting my needs. I might just move my membership.”
Don’t let the door hit you where the Good Lord split you.
At some point, you have probably felt like Lois. You feel unhappy at your church and think that you should leave. As a public service, I have put together a list of reasons to leave your church.
- Your gifts and talents are not celebrated. If you are asked to help in the nursery when you clearly belong on stage, then you need to leave.
- Your pet issues are not being addressed from the pulpit. If your pastor isn’t constantly addressing an issue that you saw on Facebook and got all worked up over, then you need to leave.
- You are annoyed with the people. Overly friendly greeters. Young hipsters. Crotchety seniors. Confused Millennials. Noisy children. Lost sinners. People who want…help. Surely God wouldn’t want you to stick it out with people like that. If you have those kinds of people, your church is probably beyond hope. Time to move on. Your next church, I’m sure will be perfect…
Of course, I am speaking with my tongue in my cheek. Church is not about you. It’s all about Jesus and sharing His message and love. A great church is built on these four things.
The Book – the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God.
The Blood – the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Birth – the new birth.
The Blessed Hope – the coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The point is: If you are looking for a church, find out what stand they take on the Book, the Blood, the Birth, and the Blessed Hope. Or if they take any stand at all. If they don’t believe in these four foundations, saturate that place with your absence. Then find a church that does.
Remember, it’s not about you. It’s all about Jesus.
He will build His church, with all kinds of people.
People like you.
People like me.
Even people like Lois.
James Collins is the pastor of First Southern Baptist Church. Follow him on Twitter @collins_point, Facebook James Collins “The Point Is,” or at the website thepointis.net.