Flavil Yeakley, Jr. wrote a book entitled “Why They Left: Listening to Those Who Have Left Churches of Christ.” Yeakley does a good job compiling his findings. He digs deep into various reasons as to why people have left the church literally and figuratively. He explores doctrinal differences, neglect, instrumental music issues, the role of women, divorce-marriage-remarriage along with a host of other reasons why people leave the Lord’s church.
While the reasons listed in Yeakley’s book are centered on people refusing to change their life and be in a right relationship with God, many of the reasons are founded in poor relationships and the inability of the church to communicate with those on the “fringe.” Understanding who we are and how we treat each other may help reverse this trend.
We are a common family. First Timothy 3:15 says, “But if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” We should expect harsh words and mistreatment from the world but not from each other. We are a family!
We are partners in the work of Christ. Philippians 1:5 says, “For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.” Paul acknowledges the teamwork that exists between him and those at Philippi from day one. We too, are on the same team with the same mission.
We are fused together by the Gospel. First Corinthians 3:9 says, “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.” We are knitted together as one chord and not frayed like loose ends.
May we do our best to keep from having to ask, “Why did they leave the Church?”