What To Do Before You Leave Your Church

What To Do Before You Leave Your Church

There is a very helpful article today on the Gospel Coalition about things you should do before you leave your church. I’ve known many people who have left churches for no apparent reason, and it is something that needs to be very carefully thought through.

Traits of False Teachers

In light of yesterday’s article, Colin Smith has written a very helpful article on The Gospel Coalition titled ‘7 Traits of False Teachers.’ Rob Bell has had quite the audience over the years through his preaching, Nooma videos and books. Yet through each of these books he has slowly chipped away at the foundation of what is true-Scripture.

The seven traits listed in the article are:

  1. Difference source
  2. Different message
  3. Different position
  4. Different character
  5. Different appeal
  6. Different fruit
  7. Different end

This is a good reminder that until Christ comes back there will always be false teachers among us who are trying to lead us away. May we continue to search the Scriptures for truth.

Creating a Contrast Culture

The Gospel Coalition had an interesting article yesterday titled ‘Create a Contrast Culture in Your Church‘. The article starts of with many people asking what program the church uses to produce the discipling, evangelizing, and hospitality that are easy to see. The answer is not a program, but rather that they offer tools to create a different culture of discipling, evangelizing and¬†hospitality.

One of the phrases that most stuck out to me was: “Think about the local church as an embassy from the future.” I had never thought about that before. Christians on this side of heaven are preparing for a new heaven and a new earth where we will constantly be in God’s presence in a New Jerusalem. I think there has been some great work done on helping us appreciate that heaven will not be us sitting around on clouds playing harps, but instead a place where we will continue to do the things we love to do, but without pain and suffering, just like the Garden of Eden (see Randy Alcorn’s Heaven).

The article then lists 12 ways churches can create a culture that contrasts the culture of the world around them. One of the most important that I see in this list is number five:

Encourage church members to build their lives into one another’s.¬†Yes, we want friendships outside of our churches. But Christians should also prioritize relationships within their churches, where they can leverage the same ministry of the Word in one another’s lives.

I think it’s far too easy to neglect the church family for your own family or for your own wants and desires. I think people have a far too narrow view of their relationships-the relationships they have with people who are believers will last for eternity. The phrase “blood is thicker than water” is true, but the reverse is true for the church body, “water is thicker than blood.” Those of us who have been baptized into the body have a new family that we need to invest our lives into and encourage them regularly, and even more as each day brings us closer to the day of Christ’s return.

Lenten Reflections

Lent is something I’ve often heard of as I was growing up, but never really took a look at what it was or where it came from. Generally I just heard friends in high school who would give up things during Lent season, but didn’t have any idea that it was anything beyond that. Thanks to a recent post on the Gospel Coalition website, I learned a little more about what it is.

Lent (from the Latin for “fortieth”) begins on Ash Wednesday, 40 days before Easter. In a devotional guide to Lent, Kendal Haug and Will Walker say “Lent, therefore, is about living out of our union with, and identity in, Christ. Lent is first and foremost about the gospel making its way deeper into our lives.” What a great thing to celebrate and practice! Letting the Good News of the Gospel make its way deeper into our lives!

You can access this devotional guide through the Gospel Coalition blog or clicking here. I plan to go through these devotionals myself as I prepare for the celebration of the best news on earth: Jesus Christ dies for my sins, was buried, and on the third day he rose again, and now sits at the right hand of God, interceding on our behalf!