Church is God’s idea not man’s, no matter what anyone says or does. We can fellowship at home but fellowshipping in the synagogue is biblical. The church gathered in the synagogue and from house to house too. I believe no one should leave Church on some other person’s account, I believe that all believer’s should walk in love and bear up under anything, forgiving one another and treating each other respectfully. But we all know that everyone’s spiritual maturity is not attained at the same speed. Some are growing at a considerably fast rate; some are slow in growing while some just refuse to grow, the Church should love and cater for all, and strive to make the latter hungry for growth.
Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. Romans 14:1
Here I am talking and offense-instigated leave not a fundamental fault in leadership, instruction from God or anything of the sort.
So what is it you and I might be doing that makes people leave Church?
I admit that the Church is a community, and like in any community people will always speak unpleasantly about someone. Everyone has at one time or the other been gossiped about in Church, nothing makes it right at all, but we must realize that not everyone can handle it, so many have left one church family or the other as a reason of being gossiped about.
So what is my business, you ask?
Gossip is sin and desisting from sin as a child of God should be our business. See Proverbs 20:19 and Proverbs 11:13
For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases. Proverbs 26:20
Nothing divides a Church like tale bearing. So our business is to ensure that no one leaves Church because we were involved in carrying or spreading gossips about them.
If some one is constantly looked down on and disrespected in a Church, the person will never feel welcome. How do you talk to your fellow Church members? How do you treat them? Do you treat them with respect regardless of what they wear or drive, where they live or work, the title they bear or their age?
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Philippians 2:3 (ESV)
If you are disrespected you wouldn’t like it, so ensure that you do not disrespect anyone in Church no matter what.
Many people have walked away from their long membership home Church because someone has been dishonest to them. It could range from dishonest business partnership to dishonest would-have-been intimate relationship.
Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool. Proverbs 19:1 (ESV)
Do you deal honestly with your Church family or do you seek to cheat or defraud them?
Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit; it is one fruit that always endears people to you. How ever, we find a lot of people being unkind, uncaring, unloving… Some old members see someone sit by them for the first time and do not even bother to welcome them and ask for their names or maybe even give a smile.
How many people have you smiled at in Church? I am not talking about your friends or team members or acquaintances, I am talking about people you are seeing for the first time, or people you see but just passed closed by for the first time. Have you ever asked to know some one’s name or visit them when you do not see them?
When someone meets you in Church and receives a warm welcome from you, there are chances that he or she will be attracted to remain.
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
5. Rejecting A “Type”
By this I mean frowning at someone because they dressed inappropriately (maybe what you think is inappropriate), or just look different than you.
This is especially wrong if it is their very first time in the Church. Rather than send them away because they came exposing or revealing cleavages, belly buttons, thighs or backsides, we should provide something to cover them up, the manner with which we give them the cover also counts, they should see love in our heart and eyes rather than rejection, mockery or dismissal. When we do it right, love signals are sent out and we can love people out of their sins. They might make an attempt to dress better next week.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11 (ESV)
Even if they come back next week dressed funny, we should leave them to the Holy Spirit, in a Church where they word is being preached, the Holy Ghost will talk to them, however, this does not mean we cannot talk to them, but the truth should always be spoken in love.
6. Holier-Than-Thou Attitude
When you make everyone that encounters you feel that you are very holy and they are not, you do great damage to the body of Christ. When you exhibit such spiritual arrogance that people do not feel comfortable talking with you or sharing their life with you, you may be the reason they are drawing back. The devil is already doing a very good job of making people burdened with guilt for their sins. When they came to Church, they came to Jesus, and He will always tell them to repent, drop the guilt and take on His on yoke.
Jesus is no longer living physically with us, but He lives in you and I, so when people come to us, they should encounter grace, not condemnation.
Does your attitude and countenance exude spiritual arrogance? Do you often remind people of how holy you are and how sinful they are? Or do you always extend grace like Jesus did?
Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished. Proverbs 16:5 (ESV)
Like I said earlier, there are some very petty people who pick offense at every instant and it can be very annoying. But we are under command to love even these people. We are called to help those who are weak where we are strong, remember, anyone who causes offense is guilty too.
Then said he unto the disciples, it is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! Luke 17:1
Are you part of the reason someone comes back week after week, or are you the reason someone is withdrawing?
Is your attitude encouraging or discouraging someone to get more involved in Church?
Do you think there is more to be added to this list?
Please share your sincere thoughts.
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