Learning from Christian drop-outs

Topic / Leadership

Sometimes good ministry resources come from the most unexpected places. I came across and found it pretty interesting and even oddly beneficial. It is an online community for those who were once Christians and have since abandoned the faith. Many people post their stories of why they gave up on Christianity and church. What’s interesting to me is that every story is related to personal issues with people in the church, mostly with those in leadership relating to sexual failure. There’s not one story that I came across that tells of someone who abandoned the faith because of some trial or hardship, theological concerns, or worship styles — it’s all about the people.

The reason I find this beneficial for us as ministry leaders is because it serves as a great evaluation tool for what we do in ministry. What are we doing that could possibly alienate our people from the faith? We lead our ministries possibly unaware that what’s going on could work toward someone’s detriment. For example, when Savory from IL tells of how she (I assume) was continually damaged by the church’s condemnation of sin, I think, “If I was in that youth pastor’s shoes, how would I have reacted?” and make a mental note not to respond the way he did.

I encourage you to read around and evaluate your ministry based on what you read. People give up on God because of our examples. Let’s be sure to eliminate double-standards, immorality, unfounded criticism, unrealistic expectations, gossip, and everything else that separates people from Him.

Posted on December 21, 2005

  • Tim –

    I applaud you for searching these things out. A whole lot of Christians will not tread where they may be both socially and intellectually challenged. I think that this breeds an inability to communicate to those who do not believe as so many Christians simply rely on catch phrases and here-say to try and combat real challenges by the unbelieving world.

    As by my blog, it is probably easy to deduce that I have some struggles with what I believe. I question alot of things ranging from canonization, evolution, and inerrancy. I used to be in full time ministry: I was a youth pastor, camp director, etc. and it is during those leadership periods that I saw the real ugly sides(s) of Christianity and have really struggled with the desire to even go to church. Yet, I still go back to what I used to tell my students – look to God; DO NOT LOOK AT ME OR OTHER CHRISTIANS…you WILL be let down EVERY TIME. It’s so simple, but from my own experiences and from some of the people I have worked with; I can understand why people walk away.

    Hope things are looking up for you…you’ve really been a HUGE ENCOURAGEMENT to me!

  • I don't know Tom. I seemed to me in the brief time I was checking it out, it seemd like it was more about disappointment with God than anything else. Classic Phillip Yancey book stuff. Maybe it's a product of our culture where everyone makes God to be who we want him to be and when we are disappointed in something then wee're bound to be disillusioned. My heart really goes out these guys as they are so lost and really need to come to know God for his true nature and be restored. It was really heart breaking to read. But it is good to read and learn. Proverbs 14:12 kinds of sums it up for me…Also it reminds me of that Don Miller book "searching for god know's what.."

  • Did I spell that Tom? Sorry about that TIM! If you'll notice the "I" and the "O" are right next to each other .. :)

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