Dear Disenfranchised ex-church member,
The church is Jesus’s bride, and he finds his bride beautiful. As a matter of fact, even though the church is made up of sinful people, the gospel is the news that Jesus finds us pleasing to himself in spite of that. So yes, there are hypocrites, yes, there are fakes, yes, there are wicked people within our doors, but if they have put their faith in Christ, then although they are broken, Christ finds them beautiful. And more than that, he promises to not stop loving the church and working to bring the church to glory, to heaven, to him. He is sanctifying the church every moment, and will not stop until we are spotless. So, hate sin, but don’t hate the church. Jesus died for his bride, and he makes his people beautiful.
Dear faithful church member, who is thinking about leaving the church,
Don’t give up on church. Don’t think that just because there are problems in your church, that it means that God has given up on working to love and care for his people. If you are in an unhealthy church, it may be time to leave, but it may be time to stay as well. We want to help you in whatever situation you might be in, but the most important thing we can do is to tell you to remember the gospel. The gospel, the good news that the Jesus died to purchase his bride, and that although there are many places that claim to be the church that aren’t, there are places still where the church gathers every week, and so instead of leaving “the church”, we plead with you to find “the church” and love it.
Finally, to church members in healthy churches,
There are so many people that have not seen how Christ’s bride is beautiful, even through it’s spots and blemishes, and we plead with you to show in and through your life, how beautiful and wonderful it is to be a part of the church. We ask that you would strive to show Christ as a treasure in how you speak about and think about your church. And we ask that you would seek out those who are being, or have been, hurt by so-called churches, and that you would show them what the bride of Christ really looks like and is.
In a world where so many people have tried something they thought was the church, and have been burnt or hurt by it, we need more people who will show the wonder and beauty and blessing of belonging to a real, healthy, church.
Whether you are gone, leaving, or staying, we write this to you, as a part of God’s church, wishing to see you be a part of it.