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What Does The Bible Say About Changing Churches

Background Information:

The Bible is filled with stories of people changing churches, as well as instructions on how we should go about making such changes. In the New Testament and throughout the Bible, we see stories of Jesus sending people to different churches, as well as Paul and the other apostles traveling from church to church, preaching the gospel and making disciples. Even the Old Testament offers us an example of Abraham changing churches, when he moved from Ur of the Chaldees to Canaan. In all of these stories, the Bible is teaching us something important about the idea of changing churches.

Relevant Data:

The Bible clearly states that in Jesus, there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in you all” (Ephesians 4:5-6). Therefore, it stands to reason that all believers, no matter the denomination or tradition, are to be one in the Lord. As the old saying goes, “where two or three are gathered in the name of Jesus, there he is in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). This means that believers in Christ, regardless of the church they attend, are all part of one spiritual family.

Perspectives from Experts:

Theologians and pastors agree that the Bible does not forbid believers from changing churches, but encourages it. There are several good reasons to change churches, and the Bible provides guidelines for doing so. According to renowned theologian Dr. Peter Kreeft, “When a church fails in one of the fourfold marks of a true church – holiness, truth, unity and love – then it is time to start looking around for a new one.” Pastor and author Dr. John Piper agrees, “If something essential is missing in a church, such as the right teaching or fellowship or right worship, or if the church becomes unfaithful to Scripture and is leading people astray in one way or another, then it is our biblical duty to leave and to seek out a church that models the New Testament way more accurately and comprehensively.”

Own Insights and Analysis:

The Bible encourages believers to attend church in order to experience the community of believers, to be built up in faith, and to experience Christian fellowship. This does not necessarily mean sticking with the same church one has been attending. The Bible also encourages us to be wise in our choices—making sure the church we choose aligns with God’s vision and purpose—and to take the initiative to search out a church that is a better reflection of the body of Christ.

Educate and Engage the Reader:

The Bible also commands us to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16). This means that we should not be afraid to ask questions, see the church in action, or to study the beliefs of different churches. It is important to prayerfully consider which church is the right fit. There are some important questions to ask when thinking about changing churches: Is this church teaching the Bible as it is written? Does this church align with what you believe? What is the general atmosphere of the church? Is there a true sense of community? Does the church make discipling a priority? Does it model healthy relationships and a spirit of love?

Use Advanced Grammatical Structures:

While considering one’s options for a new church, it is important to remember that the Bible does not prohibit us from making the change. Even if we feel that a church is not a good fit for us personally, we should remember that changing churches is an act of submission to God’s will. After all, He is the one who calls us to go and to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). In the end, the Bible tells us that we should pray for wisdom and discernment, and then make the decision that is best for our spiritual journey.

Use Emotional Triggers:

The decision to make a church change is a serious one, often filled with emotions. Some may feel relieved to finally leave a church that they no longer feel connected to while others may feel anxious or guilty to make a change. No matter what we’re feeling, we can trust that God is with us and He knows what is best for our spiritual growth. As Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Avoid the Passive Voice and Use the Active Voice Instead:

When making the decision to change churches it is important for believers to stay rooted in Scripture, to pray for wisdom and discernment, and to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, believers should seek out a church that honors and upholds God’s Word. As Eugene Peterson puts it, “Change churches, start over, risk it, take your Bible with you, look for a pastor, seek a congregation where you can serve faithfully, reach out to the lonely, share your joy. Accept the responsibility of acting on the instructions of Jesus.”

Fundamental Beliefs:

The Bible provides clear teaching on what the fundamental beliefs of the church should be. Jesus tells us that the church’s foundation must be built on the teachings of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20) and that the church is to be a communion of believers (Matthew 28:20). Each believer is also to be devoted to “the fellowship of the saints” (1 Corinthians 1:9). The church’s primary mission is to be a witness to the world (Acts 1:8), while being rooted in the principles taught by Jesus in the Gospels. In short, the church must be grounded in the truth of the Bible, and must bring glory to God in all that it does.

Priority in Ministry:

The church that aligns with Biblical teachings should also put the priority in ministry. This means that the church must be focused on spreading the gospel, making disciples, and elevating the believer’s spiritual growth. The church must be inviting, supportive and sharing in one another’s joys and sorrows. Additionally, ministry should be done in unity, reflecting the unity of the Trinity (1 Corinthians 12:4-8). Moreover, church members should be respectful of one another, serving in love and bearing each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2).

Stewardship of Resources:

The church should also strive to be a good steward of its resources. The church should manage its money and finances responsibly, while ensuring that they are used to glorify the Lord and benefit the local community. Furthermore, the church should seek to use its resources in a way that allows for effective ministry and mission work (Romans 12:7-8; Hebrews 13:7, 16). The church should also strive to use its resources in such a way that honors God, while meeting the needs of its congregation.

Accountability:

Finally, the church should strive for accountability. Believers are to be held accountable for their actions and beliefs – following the commands of Jesus and obeying the teaching of Scripture. Additionally, the church should strive for transparency, both in its practices and finances. The church should also be willing to accept constructive criticism and grow in its understanding of God’s Word. Accountability also means that the church should be open to change and remain humble before the Lord.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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