If you are wondering why certain people are quitting church, some messages I got could shed some light on the question.
“My church is a mean church!”
I received two emails this week from church members who made that very statement. The members are from two different churches in two different states. One of the churches belongs to a denomination; the other is nondenominational. In both cases, the church members made the decision to drop out of local church life altogether.
Yes, I tried to reason with the two members. I told them that no church is perfect. If they had any doubt, I wrote, look at the two letters the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth. I failed in convincing them to stay in their churches. I pray they will become active in other churches later.
I love local churches. But I have to admit, I am hearing more from long-term members who are quitting church life completely. One member wrote me, “The non-Christians I associate with are much nicer people than the members of my church.”
Ouch. That really hurt.
Why People Are Quitting Church
So, after receiving the second email, I began to assimilate all the information I could find where church members had written me about their “mean” churches. They may not have used the word “mean” specifically, but the intent was the same. I then collected characteristics of these churches, and I found nine that were common.
I call these the “nine traits of mean churches.”
1. Too many decisions are made in the cloak of darkness.
Only a select few members really know what’s going on. The attitude of those elitists is that the typical member doesn’t really need to know.
2. The pastor and/or staff are treated poorly.
Decisions are made about them without a fair process. Complaints are often numerous and veiled. Many of these churches are known for firing pastors and/or staff with little apparent cause.