“The perfect church is not on earth.” – A.W. Tozer
What keeps some people from coming back to church?
I would dare say that it cannot simply be the church’s mission statement. The church has a God-given mission that includes restoring people as well as reaching and receiving people. The church makes a whole lot of fuss about the reaching and receiving stuff. The church may not be so great at the restoration business.
Dear brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.
– Galatians 6:1 (NLT)
No matter what someone goes through on the outside of the church, we who are spiritual should restore that person both gently and humbly. That is the ministry of reconciliation that Paul spoke of when he wrote the believers in Corinth. We, as the church, represent Christ. Therefore, just as He restored us into a right relationship with God, we have the obedient obligation to the Lord Himself to accept those returning to the church based on God’s acceptance of them. We just have to accept them, not appraise their sincerity.
What keeps people from coming back to the church?
It’s us. It’s us on us when we fail to live up to the ministry of reconciliation. We are at fault when we act as if we are the gatekeepers of God’s house. We fail to follow the Lord’s example and leave a brother or sister wondering if the Lord really forgave them or even saved them. When we fail to act like Christ, we truly fail Christ.