There are good reasons and bad reasons for switching churches. Bad reasons are legion and the following are some of the lines I’ve been fed in my 10 years as a pastor:
- Someone hurt my feelings.
- I like the worship better at another church.
- The other church has better programs.
- The other church is newer or has better facilities.
- I have family at the other church.
And on an on I could go. But there are also good reasons, reasons that actually REQUIRE you to leave the church you are attending at the moment. Don’t think for a second that it is noble or right or holy or whatever to painfully endure in a church that is less than what it should be according to Scripture. Too many Christians are actually stuck in a church that they should have left long ago. Sometimes leaving your church is actually the (biblically) right thing to do.
But how does one know if they should leave? I found a concise work by Mark Driscoll on the Resurgence Facebook page that lays it out really well. Whatever you think of Driscoll, it’s not really fair to throw out everything he ever wrote or said simply because he was a bit of a jerk. The following is the article quoted in full. You can read it on Facebook here.
Ok, let’s talk about changing churches. I reckon there are three really good reasons to change churches, so long as the move is done in a godly and honouring way to all concerned. Here they are:
1. Doctrinal Incompatibility
Paul said that we should hold fast to the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience (1 Tim. 3:9). So if you find yourself at odds with a major core belief in your church, then you need to carefully research the position of your church to see if you can be won over to this position. If you can’t, then you need to relocate to a church where you will have doctrinal compatibility and back the beliefs of your church with a clear conscience (i.e., really believe it for yourself). But please note that I am talking about major differences in major core beliefs, not peripheral interpretations or personal preferences. (There will always be those!)
2. Leadership Incompatibility
Paul said that we should follow the leaders and vision of our church with faith and a clear conscience (2 Cor. 4:2, 2 Cor. 5:11, 1 Cor. 16:12, 1 Tim 1:18). Again, we are talking about the bigger picture rather than smaller issues (there will always be those). If you finally get to a place where you can’t follow with joy, faith, and a clear conscience then you need to respectfully relocate to a church where you can follow the leaders and vision with a clear conscience.
3. Challenge Incompatibility
If you are sure that by moving church you will be significantly more provoked to (a) be a radical modern-day missionary for Jesus Christ, and (b) be a more radical and holy Christ-follower, then I say move! Life is too short and hell is too hot to waste our lives in mediocrity.
So take a look at where you are. Come and evaluate CRC on these same principles. Then decide if CRC is right for you. For more information click here.
Soli Deo Gloria