To find a good jesus a gospel of love is something that many people strive for but never really do. It can take months if not years to actually feel comfortable enough to go visit a church full of strangers, sit through the entire message, endure the ritual of standing if you are a first time visitor, and then keep coming if you are still a little unsure. Putting it plainly, finding a good church is hard. By the end of this article, reader will know what the main issues are that prevent most of us from joining a church more quickly. For the most part, it is in the hands of the leadership, but most leaders are too prideful to make the changes that people need. Over time they have begun to see the church as their business instead of as a trust given by God to teach people the Bible and how to live a good, Christian life.
When considering joining a new church, the main issues that people have are these: people do not want to have the same problems at the new church that they had at their previous church; people do not want to have church leadership that is weak or dishonest. People want pastors and their leadership team to act like the leaders they claim they are; people are tired of seeing sin permitted for some and not for others; people desperately want to be taught the Word of God. If you go to church, the last thing you want to hear is the pastor’s agenda. You want to hear the Word of God and learn to live well as a Christian!! There are many other reasons why people leave one church and then try other churches, but because of past hurt, it is usually difficult to settle down and make a decision quickly.
If a pastor has a sincere heart for God and for people, one of the first immediate changes he will need to make is to stop referring to the people as “his people.” This is a critical error and sets leaders up for a quick fall or a long-term fall. No matter what happens, the pastor will eventually fall in some way because people do not belong to the pastor and such thinking is not laced with humility. The people belong to God. The end. With this new and correct mindset, the pastor should recognize immediately that all people want is a safe place to attend church, where they can learn the Bible, fellowship with other believers and get away from the strife they face in every day life. Yes, it is true that people are the ones in a church, and people are inherently messy emotionally and otherwise, but there can be structures in place to ensure that the casualties are few and far between. How, you may ask. One of the best ways to ensure that people do not get hurt very easily is to make sure that your church leaders are mature. Either they have been single for a long time and are not living a privately sinful life, or they are married for a while and are in a marriage that has stood the test of time and children or infertility and circumstance. You want to be surrounded by people with a solid track record of living in integrity, not those who mismanage money, participate in illicit sexual activity, gossip, and have huge egos, etc. Over time, people will find out if this is the kind of leadership at your church, and what you will see are people constantly joining and constantly leaving the church year after year after year. After ten years you will have lots of new faces but not much change otherwise. If you have only added 100 new members in 10 years to your roster, there is a problem.
The good news for both pastors and parishioners is that things can change. They can get better. People demand more out of their churches than they ever have, and this is a good thing. All that is left now is for the pastor to step up, face the truth, make changes – permanent changes – and watch the church grow. After all, Jesus did say that if He were lifted up, He would draw all men unto Him. If people are not joining the church, it is only because Christ is not being exalted. That is very simple! Face it! Adapt! Or continue dying. There are lots of folk who are seeking to find a new church, and it would be great if your newly Godly church was the one they found.