The Churchyard Shuffle

imagePentecostal, Methodist, Congregationalist. . . It doesn’t matter what church you go to, you’ve dealt with the Church Yard Shuffle. It’s a particular dance that transcends all denominational lines and even reaches deep into independent churches.

This is how it works. A person gets upset with their church and shuffles off to another one. That new church considers this tremendous growth for the Kingdom’s sake. Hallelujah! Pass the mash potatoes! We’ve added to the Kingdom!!
Obviously there are REAL reasons to leave your church. For instance, If your church or pastor has stopped teaching or believing salvation through Christ and Christ alone, don’t shuffle, RUN! Seek a Bible believing congregation.
Frankly, I believe if your church or denomination has left sound biblical beliefs for more liberal or progressive notions (They now call sin, “life choices”), they’ve ceased being a Christian church. Stop supporting them. You’re feeding the enemy. RUN!
Also, someone may leave a church simply because of a disagreement over the ministry and direction of the church. In that case, if reconciliation cannot be found, go where your gifts and ministry can be better used.
Unfortunately, many shuffle off for less than admirable motives. They imageget upset with someone, either the pastor or another member, for one reason or another. Worship service ran 15 minutes late, someone sat in their pew, the pastor offended them, the church was painted the wrong color. It’s amazing the infinite list of reasons people leave a church for.
Being in the ministry for over 35 years, I’ve dealt with it. People have accused me of some of the most outrageous things as an excuse to shuffle off. Thin skin Christians who want a perfect church or pastor.
I’ve been on the other side of it, too. Several years ago, a group of “saints” wanted to leave a sister church and join mine. They complained that the Pastor had done evil things. To listen to them talk, imagehe spat out pea soup and his head spun around. Being young, I did a foolish thing. I let them join my church. HEY! It was church growth, wasn’t it? Unfortunately, a couple of these people never ceased to be a source of frustration to me. It didn’t take long to realize they themselves were the pea soup spitters.

One of my main concerns about the Church Yard Shuffle is this-

We call it “church growth”. It’s not.

True church growth is not plucking the discontent from other churches. It is bringing the lost to Jesus Christ. Through the Church Yard Shuffle, spiritual battles aren’t fought, souls aren’t won. People just shift around.
So, if you are tempted to do the Church Yard Shuffle, don’t. If you want to help your church grow, go to the lost. Share the Good News with them. Don’t shuffle! It does not proclaim the unity of the Body of Christ, nor does it teach on God’s forgiveness and love.




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