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    July 13, 2007

    Comments

    ted

    Well said Scott, well said...

    Kevin Fletcher

    This may be a long comment. We made the decision when we came to our current church not to chase those who left also. I think everything you shared in this post was on the money, but I want to add one thought on this topic. I think some people stay in church long after they should have left. What could possibly be wrong with staying a little longer, they think. Here is what happens, that person or persons begins to see the spots, wrinkles, and blemishes. The things they could overlook in the past that have now become major irritants to them. When you are excited about the church God has called you to, when you are sold out to the vision of that church, you can overlook those things, they are no big deal. When someone stays longer than they should, when they no longer are sold out to the vision, those little irritants become major stumbling blocks in their lives. At this point some will see this and find a new church where they can hook up with the vision and move on in their walk with God, some will not do that but will stay and stew. Not a healthy situation for them, or those around them. Like I said, long comment. Side note Scott - when is that baby coming! Must be any day now!

    Doug

    I agree with Ted... well said.

    I've had a major turn around in my own heart on this topic in recent years.

    As a church leader, I often took it personally when someone left, especially if it was someone in my circle, and they didn't tell me about it. I would chase them and try to talk them out of it.

    As I gained experience, I would often chase them, not to bring them back, but to listen and understand why they are leaving. One, to make sure there were no "issues", and two, so that I could understand their reasoning and bless them or "send them off". Even if it was in a different direction, I know that they are taking something from their time with me/us, and will use it for the good, or will use it as a reason to do somthing different because it didn't work. A form of backwards collaboration if you will. :^)

    I also recently left a church (well), but God didn't necessarily lead me away. I knew that for some reason, I wasn't engaging, and in turn wasn't growing, and leading my family. We found another church, and God has blessed our decision immensly. I'm not sure that God led me away, but He has blessed my obedience to "seek" Him.

    shawn lovejoy

    GREAT STUFF...Don't try to close the back door of your church...Knock a hole in the wall and make more room...especially for self-centered, Consumer Christians.

    Dana Kidder

    man, I wish you had written this two years ago!

    Tom

    Hi, I found your web page because I had a very interesting dream and woke up with the thought, "They will know we are christians by our love for one another". I decided to search the phrase on the internet and found only a few references. I mean very few and your blog was one of the probably ligitamte 5 total. I saw on your blog the below statement and I think what people are wanting to do when they leave is to find out if there loved or worse yet even missed. I have been a believer all my life but a follower of christ for only a little while and I keep desiring, hoping, looking, for someone that is living the life found in the church mentioned in Acts where they truly and sincerely believe as our heavenly father that every person is treasured, that the sin of every person has been bought by the price of his son. Not just the wealthy or pretty people but those who are poor in spirit. Those who need love. The early church that were totally out of self and gave freely to one another as they saw that people had need, not as they asked, Who think of others being more important than themselves and the church grew because of "the love that they had for one another". A love disperately desired by all. A contagious love that draws like a magnet that is so rejuvenating, fresh and genuine. Where does this love come from? None other than the source of all love, from our heavenly father, through his son, by the holy spirit that captures the hearts of men. How is it received? Through a life of crucifixtion. Of dying to your will and truly loving God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. Total devotion, total obedience. Christ who lives in me, not my will but his be done, total selflessness, even to the point of death on a cross, kind of selflessness. We can do all things through christ who strengthens us, even more we should do this to those we considered to be our brothers and sisters. Love that we have for one another in the faith. Not the love for hugh church buildings, large congregations and the money they bring, large baptism numbers, and the right video performance and modern music, church programs. But a true fellowship of like minded believers that want to truly live this life of total obedience, total devotion, total selflesness, total love of God and all the things that he desires and top on his list is the love he has for all mankind and the price he chose to pay so that all may choose a life with him forever, surround by his love. All we all desire and need is love. That is the true church. Church where are you? It's nearly non-existent why because we lack a genuine Fear of God. We have made a religion of self-god or of self convience or what ever feels good do it or not do it. A church of self desire, instead of God desire. Drawn by the approval of men or women, not of God. It is a very, very narrow road that leads to heaven and those that find it, I believe are drawn to it because of the lure and desire to be loved and to love with all there heart mind soul and strength as the holy spirit leads right to there heavenly father which art in heaven.

    Why should you chase after them? Because you need to find out why the lure isn't there for them, because if the lure isn't there the love isn't either. If the love is there they won't EVER leave. They will be longing for more and be looking for ways to share it with others. If you need any further help with this simply as WWJD.

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