One of my favorite pastors was teaching a lesson a few weeks back, and made reference to Church Dropouts and I allowed the Lord to speak to me about this very thing. You know there are High School Dropouts and College Dropouts, but we never really give thought to Church Dropouts. Allow me a moment to explain how Church Dropouts occur.
When I think about how high school dropouts occurs, there are two sides. There is the side of the school (and the people within it), and then there’s the person who dropped out. Both side have to bear responsibility for the person who dropped out. The same holds true to those who drop out of church (religion) altogether. Now, I want to focus on the side of the church and the people within it more than the person who dropped out of church.
You might be asking why am I addressing this? If we are claiming to be the church that represents Christ, we have to own up to our own failures, and repent. And that’s not a bad thing. If anything, it’s showing humility on our part, which is actually worship to Christ. I have been in church for quite some time and it’s amazing as to why we act puzzled, or angry as to why people have left (and then point the finger at them as to why they left). Sure, they make the final decision to leave, but at the same time, we have to look at our hands to ensure that we don’t have their blood on them. And sad to say, we have a lot of blood. So, let’s talk about this.
How have we caused church dropouts around us? Pride and ego are the biggest two culprits. How do they manifest themselves?
You go to that church? Our pastor can preach!
We had church over here!
Get over your issue (you should never have issues)!
I’m so holy than you that I can point out your flaws!
It’s your fault as to why you’re struggling!
It’s your lack of faith as to why you’re in the shape you’re in!
We care for our own (clique) and the rest of the people around me can go to hell!
I hear from God and I’m the only one who hears from Him.
Men are to dominate their women, and the women have no voice!
Those are just some examples, and I’m sure you can think of others as to why others either condemned or they feel they will never measure up to God. The beauty of God is that He loves us, even with our flaws.
I want to real quickly focus on one sentence I typed up there because I want to say something to that: “We care for our own (clique) and the rest of the people around me can go to hell!” This is one that I’ve seen that has caused many casualties in the church (and they eventually dropout). I don’t know about you, I can’t sit around and watch people go to hell. Intercession is so necessary (and just because you go to intercessory prayer, doesn’t make you an intercessory prayer warrior). And now this takes me to my next point.
How do we stop the church dropout epidemic? Deny yourself (I heard one pastor say “Kill yourself – the flesh, that is), and humble yourself. In fact, Jesus said that we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. In fact, Paul talked in Philippians 2 about the importance of being like-minded. Sadly, in the church, we care more about legalism, and our personal agendas than we do what God is requiring of us. To love and coming together on one accord. Jesus talked extensively about sacrificing for the glory of God. But as a result, we have many casualties, and we curse the very ones who are wounded. Maybe we need to read Luke 15 and get out of our comfort box (go after the lost sheep, lost coin and the son that’s lost).
Let’s go after perfection in Christ.