Don't Come to Harbor Church

by Mar 17, 2010

A new church in town always attracts people who are dissatisfied with their current church. Some of them show up at Harbor with obvious scars from truly horrible churches. But others are simply escaping boredom or personality conflict in their previous churches and want to find a place where they will be more comfortable.

When I meet people from the first category, I pray with them and cry with them and praise the Lord for his deliverance. When I meet people from the second category, I usually tell them they should stay where they are.

As always, my motivations for doing so are mixed. When a new person complains to me about some pastor on the other side of town, I sinfully want to set a stopwatch to see how long they’ll be in our church before they start complaining about me. But on the other hand, I believe people should humbly work to influence their church for God’s glory until it’s absolutely clear that he is leading them elsewhere. Whether or not they are able to effect change in their church, God can use the struggle to effect change in their hearts.

This post reminded me of Wayne Grudem’s wise words on the subject:

If we are to work for the purity of the church, especially in the local church of which we are a part, we must recognize that this is a process, and that any church of which we are a part will be somewhat impure in various areas. There were no perfect churches at the time of the New Testament and there will be no perfect churches until Christ returns. This means that Christians have no obligation to seek the purest church they can find and stay there, and then leave it if an even purer church comes to their attention. Rather, they should find a true church in which they can have effective ministry and in which they will experience Christian growth as well, and then should stay there and minister, continually working for the purity of that church. God will often bless their prayers and faithful witness and the church will gradually grow in many areas of purity (Systematic Theology, 875)