Tue May 21, 2013
by Amanda Edmondson
From prison to ReTrain: Russell’s story
Mon May 20, 2013
9 types of leaders in Scripture
Mon May 20, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
5 bits of wisdom for the professional Christian woman
Sun May 19, 2013
by Shandel Slaten
Sat May 18, 2013
by Hugh Whelchel
Changing Churches: Sheep-Stealing or Missional Positioning?
Ok, let’s talk about changing churches. I reckon there are three really good reasons to change churches, so long as the move is done in a godly and honouring way to all concerned. Here they are:
1. Doctrinal Incompatibility
Paul said that we should hold fast to the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience (1 Tim. 3:9). So if you find yourself at odds with a major core belief in your church, then you need to carefully research the position of your church to see if you can be won over to this position. If you can’t, then you need to relocate to a church where you will have doctrinal compatibility and back the beliefs of your church with a clear conscience (i.e., really believe it for yourself). But please note that I am talking about major differences in major core beliefs, not peripheral interpretations or personal preferences. (There will always be those!)
2. Leadership Incompatibility
Paul said that we should follow the leaders and vision of our church with faith and a clear conscience (2 Cor. 4:2, 2 Cor. 5:11, 1 Cor. 16:12, 1 Tim 1:18). Again, we are talking about the bigger picture rather than smaller issues (there will always be those). If you finally get to a place where you can’t follow with joy, faith, and a clear conscience then you need to respectfully relocate to a church where you can follow the leaders and vision with a clear conscience.
3. Challenge Incompatibility
If you are sure that by moving church you will be significantly more provoked to (a) be a radical modern-day missionary for Jesus Christ, and (b) be a more radical and holy Christ-follower, then I say move! Life is too short and hell is too hot to waste our lives in mediocrity. At Godfirst, we actively encourage our members to move to other churches for any of these three reasons, especially the final one. Because we are a gospel-centred and mission-driven church rather than a pastoral flock, the concept of sheep-stealing never enters our minds. We believe that the churches in our city are all on one mission together and all part of one army, so the only issue is getting each soldier placed in the battalion where they can be most effective in reaching others.