Not much brings grief to the heart of a pastor more than watching somebody lose connection with God, church and sometimes faith altogether. Here are 5 warning signs that you are on a slippery slope.
- I’ll skip church today. Being part of a church community doesn’t earn you the love of God, but it is part of keeping you safe within the community. Look, is there a balance? Of course. Our families rule of thumb is 4 weeks (for holidays) plus 2 (the extra stuff). The decision in advance is ‘we go’, not ‘we decide’. Simply don’t let ‘skipping church’ be an option – guard the habit of gathering together. (Heb 10:25)
- I’m being judged: Listen take it from me, 99 times out of 100 people are too hung up on themselves to be judging you for things they probably know nothing about. And when you are judged, just remember there is only one judge and he has found you without blame. (By the way, don’t mix this up with a good leader giving guidance, that ain’t judgement)
- I’m offended: One thing I guarantee is you hang around any church long enough you will be offended. You may even have a right to that offence. But you hang on to it, and you will let bitterness reign. Let it go, get clarity and always search for forgiveness.
- I won’t connect. The stats are in. If you are not in a group or do not serve in anyway, 95% of people will leave the church within two years. And here is the kicker, you won’t really know why you are leaving.
- My gifts aren’t recognized. I love to tell people I can’t hold anyone back. 1 Peter 5:6 tells me that if we, “…humble ourselves in due time God will lift us up…” In other words I can’t hold you back, but God will lift you up. Sign up, serve faithfully and humbly and God will use you.
Sometimes we need to argue with ourselves and our natural and sometimes lazy and selfish inclinations. The bible tells us not to be unaware of the devil’s schemes (2 Cor 2:11). Any of the above warning signs above, fully developed, fully nurtured allows our enemy to win. The antidote is NOT just trying harder. The answer is letting the truth and grace of Jesus Christ works its way in and out of us, leaning on his grace and the power of His Spirit to overcome. It is always the better option.