5 Reasons To Consider Leaving Your Church

You may know that I have a great concern about the disunity of Protestantism, and the anti-gospel, anti-doctrinal, pro-consumeristic tendencies of many churches in America—something I call: Ameri-Christianity. I have personally sat through works-righteousness moralistic sermons in a variety of churches: from the National Cathedral, to small Methodist and Pentecostal churches, to Baptist and non-denominational mega-churches.

Because of this, I want to share 5 Reasons You Should (Probably) Leave Your Attractional Church by Jared Wilson of The Gospel Coalition. I hope you find it insightful and useful in your situation.

Here are a few related posts on Average Us:

❯  The Hip Church

❯  12 Trends Shaping Tomorrow’s Church (for the Worse)

❯  Why Your Church Isn’t Taken Seriously

What Bethlehem Taught About Marketing Jesus

Around 2,000 years ago Bethlehem hosted the most spectacular event since, “Let there be light.”

It was completely unique; utterly new. Nothing like it had been done before, or since. It was the incarnation of the eternal Son of God in real human flesh and bone, the Son of Man, born to save us. It was the divine answer to the human problem.

But, who did God tell?

He let it go largely unnoticed.

Sure, an angel choir sang praises, but to whom?—just a few shepherds in the middle of nowhere. Just a few non-influencers at the edge of a podunk town in a backwater region of a disinterested empire.

The shepherds talked it up, sure. But all the response they got was that people wondered.

God did let two others, elderly Simeon and 84-year-old Anna, in on the big event. They astonished Joseph and Mary, making a big deal over Jesus when they brought him to the temple 40 days later. But nothing much came of it; they weren’t exactly movers and shakers in Jerusalem.

And, there were a few foreign star gazers (Magi), too. But they just showed up out of the blue, asked directions, and then, left without a word.

That was the extent of God’s big announcement.

One has to wonder, why.

Here’s my take:

Because Jesus isn’t a product.

Jesus isn’t God’s equivalent of a new iPhone to be beautifully packaged, merchandised, shipped, sold, and tracked.

God wasn’t measuring Jesus’ performance in the marketplace. He had no charts plotting Jesus’ market penetration. There were no graphs tracking Jewish versus Gentile uptake. Jesus wouldn’t need tweaking. He would never be re-branded. He didn’t come in multiple, market-sensitive packages.

He just came. He did His Father’s will. And He trained a few followers to tell the world about it.

No more angel choirs.

✣    ✣    ✣

So, here we are in our modern, free-market consumer society, and the message about Jesus has finally come to us. In ordinary, sometimes forced ways (your parents made you go to church, right?), the message, this gospel, is now our charge.

Will we pass it on as it was received?—in its biblical essence, unpackaged, unadorned?—at once both divine and earthy, glorious and offensive?

Or should we measure it, test it, tweak it for maximum relevance and appeal?—Because, after all, we know so much more about human nature now.

Given what Bethlehem taught about marketing Jesus, perhaps we should question the relevance of the question, “How do we make the message relevant?”

I hope I, we, can leave it alone, except to make it known.

✣    ✣    ✣

I’ll write more about how we often don’t leave it alone next time.

Grace and peace, Lon

The Church Picker App

[Just posting a bit of fun for you this week. I originally wrote this as a guest post for Jon Acuff’s Stuff Christians Like in 2012.

Smile :) ]


So…

You’re new in town, settling into your new digs, getting used to the local eateries and traffic patterns and such. You feel pretty good about how quickly you’re adjusting. You’ve found the Home Depot and Starbucks, and even know two of your new neighbors by name.

You hardly even feel like a tourist anymore. This could be good. This could feel like home in no time.

But then you remember…

YOU HAVEN’T FOUND A NEW CHURCH

A brick drops in your gut as you dread the coming weeks of awkward, but necessary, church-shopping tactics:

  • The greeter-avoidance maneuver
  • The hide-in-the-herd hussle
  • The breezy, just-passin’-through, bearing
  • The “Are you new here?” evasion techniques
  • And above all, the no-eye-contact game face

(Lord help you if you have children to put in the nursery. You’ll still be on 43 church mailing lists when little Jenny’s working on her Ph.D.)

Is this your story? Do churches outnumber all the taco, burger and pizza joints combined in your new hometown? Do you wonder how you’ll ever find that right church among the 692 within five miles of your front door?

WISH THERE WAS AN APP FOR THAT?

Ah, there’s help for you, my friend!

Find the right church with The Church Picker App

Find the right church with The Church Picker app

Just install The Church Picker app by eMelodee™, select a few preferences, and Great Jehoshaphat! Church Picker shows you a custom-matched, short-list of right(ish) churches for you.

It’s like God’s guidance on your smartphone.

Want to avoid a church that’s a little too friendly? Just slide the friendliness preference to select “Total anonymity. No hugging.”

Have a strong conviction about Bible versions? With Church Picker you can easily find churches that believe “The King James was good enough for Paul” just like you.

Is congregation size a priority? Select options from “Mega-church with heliport” down to “Come grow with us.”

Maybe you’re concerned about the quality of your worship experience? Just slide the musical preference to find churches that feature “Spinet Organ & Gospel Choir,” “Holy Smoke Praise Band,” “A Cappella Psalms & Shape Notes,” “Unplugged Metro-Worship,” or “Bach, Pipes & Brass.”

Need even more control? No worries! Select your preferences for up to 33 Church Picker dimensions like: visitor visibility, liturgy, length of service, singles, preaching, nursery, and youth ministry.

You can even pick a theological* preference like: “I just follow Jesus,” “Doctrine Divides!” or “Modern-Western Pre-mill Seekerism.”

(*Some dimensions may not reduce the number of matches in your area.)

The Church Picker App: Like God's guidance on your smart phone

The Church Picker App: Like God’s guidance on your smart phone

Download “Church Picker” now, and you’ll also get exclusive access to the free companion app, “Daily Prayers My Way.” It makes prayer so easy, even a cavem…

Well, you get the idea.

Get The Church Picker app by eMelodee™ and cut through the church-shopping clutter.

Pick a church on your phone, save shopping for the mall.