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    Should I Change Churches?

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    AGoodReed

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    Should I Change Churches?

    Post  AGoodReed on November 26th 2018, 8:05 am

    I don't live in the U.S. now, but whenever I go back to visit, I attend a church that has a woman as a pastor (she's the third of three; the other two, including the founding pastor, are men). She doesn't usually preach on Sundays. I think she spends most of her work on family ministry. But she is married, and I don't understand how the man can be head of the house when his wife is a head of his church. I think the Bible is pretty clear on the roles of men and women in the church.

    Another issue I've noticed is that our worship arts team is pretty talented, and they use that to do a lot of performances during services. They open most services with a cover of a popular song, often one that isn't Christian. And on special occasions, they put on a show. This last Halloween, I saw a video on Facebook where they played Michael Jackson's "Thriller" while a bunch of people dressed as zombies did the dance. I'm not sure if they did it at the beginning or end of service. They did a good job, but I don't feel like a church service is the time to be putting on a show like that.

    I'm not sure if these issues are so serious that I ought to change churches the next time I go home. A friend of mine (in reference to the female pastor issue) said that he would in my situation, but he said that first, he would go to the pastors or elders and ask them why they did what they did what they did. I suppose I should look into doing that, but it sounds quite nerve-wracking.

    Curious to know what others think.
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    Paeter
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    Re: Should I Change Churches?

    Post  Paeter on November 26th 2018, 10:51 am

    I'm in support of privately asking your leaders non-confrontational "curiosity-motivated" questions for starters.

    There are some very specific cases where I'm fine with a female having "pastor" attached to her title. Primary leader of a church is not one of them and I don't think it follows the biblical models. That, combined with the performance elements, gives me the impression that somewhere along the way this church has de-emphasized the pursuit of truth and Bible-teaching in particular. Along with those things will naturally come a lack of biblical purpose and intentionality across all facets of the church's activities. So those would be some big red flags for me.

    I don't think you need to have a confrontation of any kind unless you are a registered member of the church. In that case, it still doesn't need to be dramatic. If, after asking some questions, you believe the church is not prioritizing what it should, you can explain why you think you should attend elsewhere and see if they express any desire to make changes in light of that. If not, I doubt your exit would cause any stir. And if you're not a registered member of the church, you've made no formal commitment to support its ministries and can simply step away any time you like. Though I still think it might be good to ask some questions before doing that.

    Praying for you, Reed!


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    AGoodReed

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    Re: Should I Change Churches?

    Post  AGoodReed on November 26th 2018, 8:33 pm

    Thanks so much, Paeter. I don't think I am a fully participating member, actually, but I know and love so many people there, including staff and the pastors. I've served there in a few ways in the past. I wouldn't even be in China if it weren't for this church. And they've actually had a woman pastor and been doing the performance stuff for quite some time. It's only recently that I've begun questioning it all. That's why it's such a difficult situation.
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    WhiteBoy
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    Re: Should I Change Churches?

    Post  WhiteBoy on November 27th 2018, 2:17 am

    I just wanted to echo what Paeter says.  I think he's right-on with his advice.  Those things are definitely red flags to me as well, and I would be looking elsewhere for a church.  I understand the ties that have you there make it more difficult, but moving sounds like the right thing to do.

    If you think the leaders are open and that there is a chance of changing the leaders' minds then a private conversation would be productive and worthwhile especially considering your ties there.  If you think that it would not be productive, then I personally would skip that step and move on to another church as discreetly as possible.  Either way you decide, I believe it would be wrong to try to stir up contention within the body to try to force a change.


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    AGoodReed

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    Re: Should I Change Churches?

    Post  AGoodReed on November 27th 2018, 8:22 am

    Changing the leaders' minds seems like a long shot. I'm pretty sure they thought long and hard on the woman pastor situation. I actually have a folder on my computer of files about women in ministry from one of the elders. He gave me a flash drive of a bunch of articles about various things once, and that was on there. It's all pretty "TL;DR," if you know what I mean.

    On the other hand, even though it would be hard, talking to them about my concerns before leaving would probably at least give me some closure.

    Paeter, I may need to take you up on your weekly offer to help me find a good church in my hometown.
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    Paeter
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    Re: Should I Change Churches?

    Post  Paeter on November 27th 2018, 10:27 am

    AGoodReed wrote:

    Paeter, I may need to take you up on your weekly offer to help me find a good church in my hometown.

    Sure, let's do it! You can reach me at paeter(at)spiritblade(dot)com to get the ball rolling.



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    WhiteBoy
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    Re: Should I Change Churches?

    Post  WhiteBoy on November 28th 2018, 4:41 pm

    AGoodReed wrote:On the other hand, even though it would be hard, talking to them about my concerns before leaving would probably at least give me some closure.

    Sounds good.  I don't see any problems with having the conversation with them, and that would let them know, too, that no everyone is happy with how things are going.  If nothing else, at least they would know why you left.


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    Re: Should I Change Churches?

    Post  Paeter on November 29th 2018, 9:03 am

    WhiteBoy wrote:
    AGoodReed wrote:On the other hand, even though it would be hard, talking to them about my concerns before leaving would probably at least give me some closure.

    Sounds good.  I don't see any problems with having the conversation with them, and that would let them know, too, that no everyone is happy with how things are going.  If nothing else, at least they would know why you left.

    Yeah, I think there is real value in this. Often, people do not change their minds on an issue in the middle of talking to someone who disagrees with them. But the seeds are still planted and they may quietly make changes later as they are privately convicted.


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    Re: Should I Change Churches?

    Post  WhiteBoy on December 3rd 2018, 9:55 am

    Paeter wrote:Yeah, I think there is real value in this. Often, people do not change their minds on an issue in the middle of talking to someone who disagrees with them. But the seeds are still planted and they may quietly make changes later as they are privately convicted.

    Agreed. There is good wisdom in this.


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