A Prayer for Deciding Whether to Leave Your Current Church - Your Daily Prayer - June 24

June 24, 2024

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A Prayer for Deciding Whether to Leave Your Current Church or Stay
By Chris Eyte

"Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.'
Jesus replied, 'Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.' Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah." - Matthew 16:16-20

The choice of food shops in the city near where I live is countless. Large supermarkets offer everything from green beans shipped over from the other side of the world to exotic curry mixes. I like to visit the smaller food stores, too, because you can get eat-me items you simply don’t get anywhere else - massive watermelons, big cans of vine leaves, and nut cakes perfect for birthdays. As a consumer, as long as money is in the bank, I can choose and choose and buy and buy.

It’s a problem, though, if I bring that ‘choice’ attitude to my church fellowship. Perhaps we can all struggle with this consumerist mentality at times. Are the leaders dressed appropriately and always smiling? Was the worship ‘good’? Did the preacher give a good resounding message, ‘getting into the word’? Is the Sunday School properly organized? Was it all too noisy or too quiet? And this is a common complaint: did anyone talk to me at church today?

If we start hitting negative notes in our expectations of church, we start to find reasons to leave. That can be a danger - if it does not meet our own expectations, not the Lord’s will. It’s like going to a concert or theatrical performance where everything needs to work seamlessly. If it doesn’t, we are tempted to ditch the ‘show’ and be entertained elsewhere.

The first question to ask, though, is why we go to church in the first place. It can’t be just about the music, or a good sermon, or whether people smile at you, or the quality of the coffee in the little paper cups after the main meeting. You could be doing anything on a Sunday. Why take time out to ‘go’ to a church building? What made you go there in the first place? In the passage above, the Lord talks about building his church. Is your fellowship, despite its faults, built with a firm foundation in Jesus? Surely, what draws us to a Christian community isn’t the music, positive messages, or coffee. It is the reality of living as a body of people belonging to the Holy Spirit and enjoying him for who he is. 

Secondly, are we humble enough to be bricks in the church that Jesus is building? Or do we have a personal agenda that does not submit to him? Church communities need people who are content to be actively part of the overall whole in God. A brick has an important part in constructing a building but its purpose is only served in humility, in relationship with the other bricks around it.

Lastly, if we do want to move to another church, seriously consider this: is the reason spiritual or worldly? Churchgoers can act like sheep, moving from one place to another. As before, why did we go to church in the first place? Because it’s important to Jesus that brothers and sisters in him dwell together in harmony (Psalm 133:1). Church isn’t another sports club or hobby group. It’s a community of Holy Spirit-fired followers of Jesus who are fully aware of spiritual warfare and are determined to live consecrated lives as the body of Christ.

That doesn’t mean we can’t move to another church. But we need to be clearly guided by the Holy Spirit to ensure that this serves his purposes, not our own. Sometimes, we get moved to another part of the battlefield, and that’s okay. But at all times, we are called to forget ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow him. And that applies to our lives in Christian communities, not just privately.

Let us pray:

Lord Jesus, thank you that I have the awesome privilege of being a living brick in your building. It is truly amazing that you have called me to be a part of your body and given me the responsibility to look out for others. All my needs are met within you alone and I am excited to be on this journey of helping to construct your kingdom. I ask for wisdom and insight to know that I am in the right place at this time, doing what you want me to do. Help me to be active as a church member, a blessing to my leaders, and a great support to those around me. In your precious name. Amen!

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Sean824


Christopher Eyte lives with his wife Céline and three children in Swansea, Wales, UK. He has worked as a journalist for many years and writes his own blog (hislovefrees.life) encouraging others in their walk with Jesus. He became a Christian in February 2002, after a friend explained God's amazing grace!

Related Resource: Remember God's Enduring Love for You in this Guided Meditation on Psalm 100!

This guided Christian meditation from Psalm 100 will help you experience and praise God for his unending love for you. Become aware of God’s presence with you, and praise God for his loyal and enduring love from the beginning of time and into the future. Listen to every episode of the So Much More Podcast on LifeAudio.com, or subscribe on Apple or Spotify so you never miss an episode!

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