Recently, I have noticed a consistent pattern of complaints from church members dissatisfied with their churches, praying, seeking guidance from God about whether to move on, or to call it quits. While there has been an obvious shifting in the modern Church, the following three red flags are by no means new problems confronting the Body of Christ. (See Ecclesiastes 1:9-10) However, in my own recent church visits and ministries, I want to address some commonalities brought to my attention over the past two years. As you read, you must know that it is never within the will of God for you to become so fed up with the Church, you cease attending altogether; but here are the top three roadblocks believers are encountering, causing them to question whether they are in the right place.
1. “The Anointing Passes” doctrine is believed and received by most if not all in your
When God anoints someone, that anointing never passes. God called John the Baptist from the womb, and he was anointed until the time of his execution, just as Jesus was anointed until His death and resurrection. If you are told God is done with you by anyone in your church, especially your pastor, get out QUICK!
1 John 2:27
But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.
2. The pastor or leadership team is exalted above God:
There is a huge difference between respecting and submitting to your pastor, and downright idolizing him or her. Remember the pastor is the shepherd, but a vessel just like their sheep. Therefore, the pastor and leadership team are not above the anointing of their congregations. As God calls the elders and leaders of His Body, there is no calling unless given them by Christ.
This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”
If you notice the pastor or leadership are often spoken of in ways that exalt them above the works of God, or when you see them talked of as though their works are of themselves, it is time to get out.
1 Peter 5:1-3
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.
3. You are told there is no room for you to serve, or told “we don’t need help”:
There is room in God’s House for all to serve, and the denial of willing service from any vessel goes directly against our call from God to be at service in the church. To each of us has been given the gift and ability to serve in specific areas to meet each need in the House of God. Subsequently, each member plays a vital, and very necessary role in the Body.
1 Peter 4:10-11 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ…
You should reject the lie that there is no need for your service in the church. Whether it be cleaning, cooking, singing, preparing, or teaching, we all have a role to play, and we are held accountable for the gifts given us. If you approach your pastor or leadership, and you are told there is nothing for you to do, it is time to find a place where your gifts can be used by God.
1 Corinthians 12:21-25
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.