I don’t like the direction my church is heading. How can I know when it’s time to find another church?
Every situation is different, and it’s impossible to speak precisely about any one situation. That said, here are some criteria worth keeping in mind in every situation:
- Are you “counting other more significant than yourselves” (Philippians 2:1-4)? If you did, would that change your outlook?
- Have you been demonstrating an “eagerness to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the body of peace” in the church (Ephesians 4:3)? If you did, would that change your outlook?
- Are you being fed by God’s Word?
- Is your family being fed by God’s Word? (This is different than asking “Is your family being entertained?” A teenage son might find the youth program “boring”; but that’s a different matter than whether or not he’s being fed.)
- Are your concerns about the new direction biblical or cultural?
- Have you spoken with an elder or pastor about your concerns? If so, and you’ve not been “heard,” is there chance that you’re now personally offended, in such a way that your judgment is clouded?
- By the same token, is there anyone at all you need to forgive? Any sour relationships?
- Who would be affected by your departure?
- Are you looking for “the perfect church”? That is, are you demanding a level of perfection that is unreasonable to expect in this world?
- Would your leaving help to protect the gospel (because your faith will be hurt in this church and you would not encourage others to stay either) or hurt the gospel (because, as a professing believer, you should be pursuing patience and forgiveness, not an easy out)?
For more great resources from Mark Dever and 9Marks Ministries, visit www.9marks.org