There are certainly valid reasons to leave a local church. But in my experience, many people leave a church not because of false teaching, unqualified leadership, or unconfronted sin but because of personal preference. They simply find something that brings them greater perceived benefit. In our current culture, this radical individualism has risen to new levels. I recently heard from a distant relative who indicated that they are now a “multi-church family.” They just go around leeching off multiple churches. Their relationship to the local church is that of a parasite to a host. They take without giving anything in return.
C.H. Spurgeon wrestled with the same destructive phenomenon in London over 150 years ago. He was a effective preacher and many left their local churches and flocked to his ministry. His words of exhortation are good for us to hear in our day:
You that are members of other congregations, just consider it your duty to stay at home…We are much obliged to you for your kindly intentions; but we would rather have your room than your company, if ye are members of other churches. We want sinners to come – sinners of every sort; but do not let us have that sort of men whose ears are everlastingly itching for some new preacher; who are saying, “I want something else, I want something else.” Oh! do, I beseech you, for God’s sake, be of some good; and if you are running about from one place to another you can never expect to be.
Soon fall will be upon us and new opportunities for ministry. It is a great time to consider how you are contributing to Christ’s church. Some of you need to get off the bench and get into the game. I urge you, “Be of some good!”
Photo credit: https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Team_USA_bench_vs_Dominican_Republic.jpg