Monday, November 5, 2007

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Tom Ascol has a good post up called Restoring Health to an Unhealthy Church: Why Attempt It? He is tackling a very important issue for those concerned about the state of the evangelical landscape.

This is the difficult work of reforming the discipleship culture of a local church: Having the patience and the vision to stay despite the slow trudge and potential conflicts of the process.

This is why changing church culture can't be done just by implementing a new set of programs. We're messing with DNA here. This is Spiritual stuff.

There is nothing wrong with discontent reformers planting new churches, but they must take care they are actually planting those churches on the Gospel and not their own ecclesiological preferences and pastoral ambitions.
There is nothing wrong with discontent churchgoers seeking a new church that proclaims Christ crucified, particularly because life is short and when you have, for instance, children in your family, waiting a few years for a church to ween itself off of program-centered ministry can cause concern for what sort of church discipleship your family will emerge into.

But cheers to those who stay and stick it out. Cheers to those who, in the spirit of reformation and not regrouping, put their hands to the plow, bow their heads, and invest in the communities they are already in covenant with.
In a very real way, gospel-centered church culture reformers are salt and light to church itself, and if we all abandon our current churches, we are missing out on the rewarding, redemptive process of being missionaries to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

If you feel like giving up and leaving, please let me urge you to pray. Pray about where you can best serve. Perhaps it really is in a local church community that at the moment is disagreeable to you.

You should leave if your disagreements and discontentment are leading to disruption and dissension and disunity. But you should consider staying if your disagreements and discontentment can be channeled into humble, prayerful service and long-haul investment. Don't you want to be one who can say, "I was here when . . ."?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What if my pastor lied to me? and continues to circumvent the other elders to do things his own way thereby introducting doctrines that are not under the WCF?