In a culture of polarization, when we strongly disagree with someone, we often just end the relationship instead of trying to work through our differences and fix the relationship. This has created a lot of "throw away" relationships. Regretfully, we often treat our relationship with our church the same way. If we do not like the message they are preaching or if that message steps on our toes or makes us feel uncomfortable, we just want to throw away that church.
Timothy 4:3 (NIV); "For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear."
I have had a number of people say that they had been attending a particular church for a number of years and felt they really were not living that strong a Christian life. They chose to change churches rather than lifestyles and now feel they are living just fine as a "Christian".
I am afraid we often look for a church that fits our lifestyle rather than being willing to change our lifestyle.
Romans 12:2 (NIV); "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will."
Another issue I often hear is when people are visiting various churches. They frequently say they are looking for the church that has the most to offer them and where they feel comfortable. In itself, this is not necessarily bad. They want a good choir, an outstanding youth program or senior’s curriculum. They want the Pastor to preach long enough but not too long, loud enough but not too loud, etc. Perhaps as we look for a church home, we should take the lead from Scripture and find a church home where we can contribute and not just receive. Don’t merely take but give as well. Look for a church home where you can impact other’s lives and the outreach of that particular church.
1 Peter 4:10 (NIV); “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
We need to realize, the church or Church does not owe us anything. Jesus Christ already gave the ultimate gift of His blood. It is time for us to give back.
Bill Davis lives in Anderson County, SC, where he speaks at churches and encourages evangelism and discipleship efforts across the region. He is the author of “The Revelation of Jesus.”