At a recent meeting of our elders, deacons, and deaconesses, one of the questions asked was, why have people left First Central and were the issues addressed and/or corrected? I said there was no common denominator and sometimes the reasons were vague.
Here are the reasons I have heard over the past year, or at least, the ones I remember. They include personal reasons, doctrinal differences, church government issues, personal preferences, and personal attacks. They are listed without comment.
- I want to go to a church closer to where I live.
- If I change churches, my spouse might attend more often with me.
- I just got married and I’m going to my spouse’s church.
- I don’t fit here.
- We’ve found a place where we can better use our gifts.
- Deaconesses (female deacons) are not biblical.
- One person has not returned after I pointed out what Scripture said about her lesbian relationship.
- Our budget is too high. We should not have a gap between our giving and our budget plan.
- The elders do not practice church discipline. (One said the elders were too harsh. Another said we were too lenient.)
- The elders are too controlling.
- The elders should make all the decisions. We should not have a congregational government.
- I can’t worship at First Central.
- The Spirit of God is not moving at First Central.
- The pastor’s wife did not speak to me.
- The pastor sent me a note instead of calling me on the phone.
- The pastor is not a shepherd.
- The pastor’s sermons don’t inspire me. He is just a Sunday School teacher.
- The pastor doesn’t preach enough evangelistic sermons.
- “I think the music is awful and the Pastor has no heart… The Pastor is a jerk – very knowledgeable but still a jerk.”
- Some of the leaders lack humility.
- The heart and soul of some of the worship leaders.
SIGH! Ministry can certainly be challenging.