Sometimes good ministry resources come from the most unexpected places. I came across ExChristian.net 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 ExChristian.net 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