Excuses To Leave A Local Church

Hebrews 10:25 (NKJV) “…not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Pastors hate it when people leave, but it happens every week.

Pastor DO take it personally, and we shouldn’t. It’s a human reaction to a common event. Pastors that DO take it personally are someone that’s controlling. Not all pastors are control freaks, but SOME of them are.

But when people leave, it will happen again.

Some pastors go into control mode to try to keep people and this is BLATANT ERROR.

The job of a pastor is found in 1 Peter 5:1-4.

“The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”

“Shepherd the flock, not by compulsion but willingly.”

If you’re made to do it, then it’s not willing. When the Lord calls a man to shepherd His people, He didn’t make you do it. It’s an assignment that a man willingly accepts.

“…not for dishonest gain.”

When a pastor is only looking at what they could get from the people, he is a hireling (see John 10:11-16). A minister of the gospel must never be a huckster or one that peddles the Scriptures for his personal gain. It’s very easy to see. When he compels you to give beyond your reasonable ability.

There was a pastor that had a pornography habit and took the offering to pay for his habit. Others are living beyond “reasonable compensation.”

“not as being lords over those entrusted to you.”

When you go beyond reason to attempt to control everything that a person does in the flock, they’re crazy. Men have a problem controlling themselves and they want to control people?

“…but be examples to the flock.”

What people see, that’s what some people will become. If you’re not living holy, it’s no surprise that people aren’t holy. Even when people don’t want to live holy, you’re still to be that example of holiness.

That’s because the Lord is watching you.

There are clowns in the pulpit.

Whenever a person leaves a local fellowship, more often than not, you go to the parable of the sower. When a person uses or a concoction of un-sound doctrine or inconsistent teachings among “religious” people, there’s a good possibility that something deeper is there.

Secret Sexual Sins.

The parable of sower gets to the heart of where people are.

Remember the story in John chapter 4 of the woman at Jacob’s well?

She was a Samaritan and there was an issue. She was a worshipper but she was also an adulteress. The Lord Jesus didn’t go the route that many pastors, including myself would have gone.

To name the sin and command her to repent, but the Lord Jesus did something that caught her attention.

He used water cooler talk (Jacob’s well?).

He turned it into a conversation about the difference between natural water, and living water. She became interested in living water.

You see, the “water” (adultery and search for love, and fulfillment) that she was drinking could never satisfy. But the water that the Lord Jesus offered was everything that she would ever have needed. Then the Lord shifted the conversation by making a request.

The Lord Jesus said “Go get your husband.”

She answered, ‘I have no husband.”

The Lord Jesus revealed to her that she spoke rightly, “but you’ve had five husbands and the one that you’re with now is not your husband.

The Lord Jesus blew a gaping hole in her brand of “worship.”

She was living in adultery and living with a man that’s not her husband.

She correctly perceived that the Lord Jesus was a Prophet. Then she proceeded to talk about worship. And that’s consistent with excuses. To get off of the subject of the heart, you talk about spiritual things. It’s a strategy of deflection and distraction to get the heat off of you.

It’s an attempt to show how spiritual you are to hide how sinful you are.

When we don’t want to get rid of sin, or at the very least, deal with sexual sins, we escape to “worship.”

We know how to worship and praise with the best of believers when we’re in sin, but the Lord revealed that the Father seeks worshippers that worships Him in spirit and in truth.

You can’t worship the Father in sin (see Romans 8:1-2). Remember, sin brings forth death (see James 1:14-15).

Then it gets real deep. She said, “We know that the Messiah is coming.”

Some people believe that when the Messiah comes, the condition of the heart will remain the same. Well, why did Jesus spend time in John chapter 3 and talked to Nicodemus about being born again?

Then the Lord Jesus revealed “The one that you’re speaking to is the Messiah.”

She dropped her water pot and ran to the city.

Because the Lord Jesus spent time getting at the issue of her heart.

The water that you’re drinking will never satisfy. The water that I will give you will be a well of water, springing up into everlasting life.

If you’re going to worship, you can’t worship without life and in lies.

She was worshipping as a dead person, because anyone that worships God, has His life inside. That’s why the Lord Jesus said “spirit and truth.”

To have spirit is to have life.

Remember Jesus said in John 6:63?

“The flesh profits nothing, but the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.”


The excuses that people use to leave a local fellowship may be an excuse to return to the sin they love so much.

It’s not true for everyone, but it should be one of the things that have to be discussed.

Published by The Minister's Crucible

The Minister's Crucible is designed to inform the Body of Christ about the inner workings of the ministry. The word Crucible from Latin, is "crux" where we get the word "cross" from. It also means a "metal container" where metals and other substances are melted or are subjected to higher temperatures, put to the temperature test. The Lord Jesus said "If any man desires to follow after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me." Let's take up our cross and follow Him.

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