When Jesus said the poor will always be among you, He was quoting Deuteronomy 15:4-11 , because there was a condition to poverty - a CHOICE not to follow prosperity principles: just the same way some people have been in church like forever and have chosen not to grow.
It is the ability that God gave man from the garden of Eden, and man is constantly exercising that ability everyday even when it means leaving church for any of the ............ reasons they will give.
- They were never really committed to Church in the first place!
When someone offends you at work or school, do you quit that job or that school and start heading to another? who did they discuss this so-called offense with before they leave? Their cell leader? PCF leader? Pastor? friend?
let's be objective about this matter and stop making excuses for people.
The ones that complain about love are usually in a hurry to leave after service, never return phone calls from church members and still have the audacity to say nobody loves them. What makes them different from all the people that come out in front of church and say "if not for bro. or sis such and such I don't know how I could have made it through this period of need"
These people that get up and leave, are they active in a cell or department? How can we love them if they are unwilling to position themselves to be loved?
I wonder about all these leaders that they are always beefing about to Bro. Austin,(How come it only you all these people talk to - are you the church leaving committee usher? LOL )
Please, which one of you starts a job or a volunteer position and is not given instructions by those in authority there? Do you get offended? These leaders in church are people who over time have been faithful to carry out all those "errands" they have been sent on. SELAH! One man has rightly said "You can only be promoted by the one whose instructions you follow." People who do not like to be told what to do more often than not do not go very far as everyone tires of them very quickly and maybe that is why they eventually leave (They wear out their welcome).
They don't want to be told to join a cell/activity group, that they come to church late or miss Wednesday service/prayer meeting, to pledge towards a program or sow towards a cell member's or leader's celebration et al, yet they want your undivided attention. like some people have rightly said in this discussion - NEPIOS.
Some people believe that the church exists to cater to their every whim. HAAAAAAAAAAA.
All that being said, we still need to sit up and be very proactive about creating an environment of the Spirit to facilitate the enlightenment of their hearts in Christ so that they will not remain NEPIOS for long but be able to see themselves in the light of God's word as helpers of the work and not people needing help all the time or as they would say in another congregation I know "EGRs" - Extra Grace Required people.
At IPPC Pastor Chris said people who jump from church to church are very unstable in their mind and they have not reach maturity (aka nepius). They give perception like they are so Holy and that something must be wrong with the church, church leaders or the pastor of church. They need realize that a church is a spiritual family and when you leave one church family for another church family then your physical family will also be very unstable. THE LESSOR IS IN THE GREATER!
Do test and ask someone who comes to you from another church if their whole family is attending church. I bet their husband is at home watching sports or maybe even they have divorce.
Beloved brethren, I have followed this discussion with deep interest because I do follow up with people who leave church with passion and determination to win them back. But in all my follow up, one thing was common amongst them- selfishness and self centeredness. Excuse me, I did bet on it already that I was going to offend some righteous holy brethren here, but hold on because I can't hold back anymore, it burning in my heart, I now need to speak
I have followed up with people who left church because they did not get call from the pastor even though they were visited by other church member on pastor's instruction when they gave birth. Another one left because when she was busy with school work and could not attend service, no one bothered to find out if she was ok. When questioned, I found out she did not tell anyone about her pursuit, she also claimed she was in school full time and was faced with financial challenge and "my new church is assisting me". There is another one that left because when she had a baby, it was only church member that came to visit her-the pastor did not visit her. Hence she felt being discriminated against because she is not a giver "if I were giving big, I know the pastor would have visited me". I will stop at that, I can go on because as I said I have too much instances some of which I can not mention.
I found out that the most people leave church because they do not want to be committed in any way. They will leave when one or two people approaches them to join the cell or when they are approach to participate in some activities. They would say, "I just want to come and worship". If you approach them a second time they would no longer sit in that location. These folks come late to church and leave before the grace is said. I do follow some as they leave to encourage them to stay and receive the closing blessing. One got so offended one day and told me "you are getting me angry, I have somewhere to go and you are delaying me, I am not happy with this pls""
You know you have all said so much as leaders, we seems to know what to do here. Remember LOVE never fails. Whether they leave or stay, let us continue to pray for them, show them love and encourage them find their place in Christ. You see, when you are faced with identity crisis, you need people with lots of patient to help guide you (Lk 21:19 NIV)
Sunesis Ginosko writing to the brethren at Yookos, Greetings my brethren, favor, understanding and wisdom be granted unto you from our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ. People leave church because they are inclined to their carnal minds. If someone didn’t love you at your workplace, that wouldn’t be a good enough reason for quitting your job. If someone didn’t love you at your post-secondary educational institution (school) you wouldn’t drop out from your program. And I don’t think no one ever did, and those who have, it must have been a terrible decision on their part. Now to drop out of church is to drop out in life, it is as simple as that; it is rejecting the Word, rejecting Christ and rejecting Christianity. You probably understand the thoughts that I am sharing here if you’ve moved to class five. But if you are still in class one let me explain everything to you in simple terms(allow me to come down at your base level) “God is love”, according to 1 John 4:8, He loves you so much that He put you in the church. Concerning love, the Bible declares in 1 Corinthians 13:5-7, “love doesn’t pay attention to a SUFFERED WRONG…Love BEARS UP under anything and EVERYTHING that comes, EVER READY to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under ALL circumstances, and it ENDURES EVERYTHING without weakening.” And because you left church due to the wrongs did in the body, and you were weak, maybe you should have reacted differently, and according to this verse of Scripture you were emphatically the one without love! Remember Paul said, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”(2 Timothy 2:3) and Jesus said, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”(Matthew 24:13) So endure the ill treatment of every men, know that it’s the devil, and when you know it’s him, you resist him in the evil day he will flee a thousand ways. But if you stop going to church it shows that you don’t mind giving up your salvation and throwing away your hope of eternity with GOD, because out there the devil will tear you apart and his demons will run manoeuvers on you dramatically. If you stop going to church, what will be your safety net in life? What would you be doing that’s better than being in church? Why run from your “offenders, the two faced ones, the liars, hypocrites, imperfect, disrespectful and unloving ones” that are in the church, while you are not running from your wicked neighbors, nor your idle and cursing talking colleagues at work and your “evil, unreasonable politicians”. If you run from church, you will not stop running in life. Someone just said,” WHAT DOES THIS YOUNG MAN THINK HE KNOWS, HE’S JUST A CHILD.” I don’t mind being called a kid, a child or “IMMATURE”, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”(Matthew 19:14) I do have a lot of points to share with you and many here have already written very inspired thoughts of the Holy Ghost, but let me just say, it once occurred to me that I wanted to leave a church service back in 2010 when I had just given my heart to Christ because, what I would then call “a fake nigga.” Was all over the church for this one girl, but anyway, you understand what I am saying, I was very indignant and the Pastor there didn’t even help because at that time I considered that the Pastor was on “his side” and that he didn’t have a clue of what was going on, but when I was leaving, because I couldn’t hold it anymore; it had happened again and again, a mature woman of faith, her name is Sis Diane, came and spoke with me, and I never left church that day because of what she told me. You see those that have left really need someone that can talk to them with compassion and unfailing truth, because they must know the truth, what God thinks of it and what they ought to do henceforth. Later, I realized that I was the one wrong and whether this person or that person was offensive, it shouldn’t have controlled my good behaviours. One thing that I’d like to stress here, Pastor Chris has shared it on ROR, he said, “Don’t let peoples’ bad behaviours change your good character.” Now it’s important that we study the Word. The Word of God is direction, it is light, if you stick to it you will never go out of your way or go out and leave church! It is His instruction manual for the Christian. And leaders or mature Christians sometimes you were the ones to blame, in that case take responsibility and entreat the one you offended, don’t try to ignore and move on because that person still has that grudge in them I tell you. And on many occasions it’s the brother or sister that is faltering because of his or her lack of knowledge and understanding and therefore gives all kinds of excuses, and it’s not necessary. You can’t tell me you support men like Paul the Apostle, Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King Jr. and you’re a blamer, a critic and a finger pointer! You have no right at all to give your deconstructed thoughts and opinions to GOD! You can't say, "Oh, those ones are not real christians." How could you? He sent His Son for you, you who was worth nothing, and the precious, overpayment of the Father made your life valuable, now you’re going to say because someone didn’t show me love and said this, I will leave, I will run...bla bla bla, you are born again a victor not a victim, a winner you are, don’t be a loser! By the way these men took 100% responsibility, they had ownership, they didn’t give excuses, they weren’t complaining, they fought a good fight; they indeed reached the Promised Land, so stop crying, struggling and suffering along your journey. Focus on your destination! Where will you find yourself in the next five, or ten years? Don’t do evil to yourself, but overcome evil with GOOD! It is a good thing to serve the LORD, it is a worthy effort to come to His house and fellowship with Him and grow in His grace. See with the eyes of God and hear with the ears of God! The Bible says if your heart condemns you, God is greater than your heart! Take a Holy Ghost shower in church, wash off those ugly thoughts of yours and wrong perceptions, jump in and step on in, just like you would in your bathtub. It doesn’t matter how strong you smell or the abundance of your sweat, just take a shower, even if the water’s cold, when you need a shower you will take it. So attend church, you will be washed clean, whether the brethren are hot or cold, you still come, the Word will pilot you. The Bible says, “..the church is for the perfecting and full equipping of the saints…”(Ephesians 4:11) And like Paul said in Hebrews 10:25, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing..” You see, it’s a bad habit, just like cursing, smoking and all them other things are, and you need to make a choice. God bless you.
Well said, well thought out and written, You are wise. People leave church indeed because they are carnal and think people are there to make them happy, when all that they need to make them happy, satisfied, complete, "full" and prosperous is inside of them, the eternal life of God. I love the analogy of not leaving work because folks dont like you. I have always maintained that if people are not talking to you, you go talk to them, if people are not greeting you, go and greet them, after all the mature man in Christ takes initiative, leads the way and not wait for others to "make them". Babes cry, complain and rarely act, the mature man in Christ acts, take control of situations and doesnt forsake the assembly of the saints because he is offended. Pastor Kay has told us that sometimes when you offend someone or someone is offended, a lot of times the offender doesn't even know he has committed an offence. If someone reading this response has been offended by someone or something, address it calmly and diplomatically, get it resolved, sow a seed, give thanks for the fellowship and keep coming to church. Lets put it this way, Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God, where do you hear the Word : church, so the more you come to church, the more your faith grows, the more you stay away from church, the more your faith diminishes and the more the carnal nature grows and the more of a babe you become or remain. Your aim should be growing unto perfection and coming to church helps with that assuredly.
Keep up the good work, Souna, God has anointed you to excel and profit in everything you put your hands to do.
If someone comes to church as a first timer and responds to the call for first timers to be recognized, there is a mechanism in place to ensure that at least the first timers ministry and subsequently membership school as well as the Cell system are in constant communication and fellowship with him/her and if this is happening it will be difficult for this person to be experiencing trouble without the aid, support, prayers and love of the brethren.
It is also our culture to look out for people we do not recognize and ensure they are made welcome and integrated into the body of Christ
If however the person does not respond and as a result is not recognized, it is possible then for everyone to assume someone in one of these structures is actually relating to them (which we must make sure is not the case).
Some of these people are also unwilling to relate to others even when the hand of fellowship has been extended to them.
It is not possible to want to experience the benefits of association without commitment.
It is impossible for one to be a part of a Cell or activity group in church, in membership school or responding to the first timers ministry and not experience love in their times of need or joy.
@ SIS OSA; This question has been answered. We should start another discussion.
The reason manny people leave church is cos the aint aware of the great consequences, some leave due to poor follow-up, and soul winning activities, some cos they are cannal and desire to see canal things before the believe , others get offendedn with the pastor or cell leader, some are not ready to be given responsibilities especially in the cell, and some leave cos their time, finances and responsibilities are not involved, yet the fact remains that we do not forsake the assembly of the saints, being in church is lik being wit GOD....SO DONT MISS A SERVICE IT PAYS TO BE IN HIS PRESENCE....