When You Hate Church

Article Index

woman in church
(iStockPhoto.com)

What if we find ourselves in a spiritually unhealthy atmosphere? Is there ever a time when we might need to leave a church in order to remain a healthy survivor?

It is true that some church environments are toxic and even abusive. In those situations, we need to seek the counsel of mature and healthy believers and pray about God's order for our lives. He may well lead us to leave, but it is important that we "go out with joy and be led forth with peace" (Is. 55:12). It is never right to react out of offense or to create a division that brings harm to others.

You and I are not called to play games, but we are called to be spiritual survivors. Isaiah prophesied of a spiritual nation that would overcome the dangers of their day: "For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this" (Is. 37:32, NIV).

I believe we are the survivors God is passionately calling forth. It would be great if every local church were completely safe. But then, where would the challenge be, and how would we grow in a spiritual hothouse? If we'll apply the survival skills we find in God's Word, He will zealously watch over us to see that we thrive in the local church.

Let's renew our commitment to the local church. When we face pain, let's stay on the pathway of peace. And whatever we do, let's not give up on the very real blessings churches bring to our lives. We're called to be survivors, and that's a challenge we need to face together!

CHURCH SURVIVAL STRATEGIES

On the Survivor show, the contestants, or "survivors," are challenged to outlast, outplay and outwit one another. Scripture calls us to a different strategy:

OUTLOVE: "Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing" (1 Pet. 3:8-9, NKJV).

OUTSERVE: "For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another" (Gal. 5:13).

OUTGIVE: "Do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased" (Heb. 13:16).


David Cannistraci is the senior pastor of GateWay City Church in San Jose, California. He travels internationally as a speaker and has written Apostles and the Emerging Apostolic Movement (Regal) and God's Vision for Your Church (Regal). For more information, go to www.davidcannistraci.org.


To contact us or to submit an article, click here.


Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective