Thinking of leaving the church? Stop being selfish.

I see a bunch of these articles being circulated, all talking about why millennials are leaving the church. Their chief complaints seem to be that leaders in the church cannot relate to them, that they see a lack of compassion for people outside the church, and a variety of other reasons. Some of these reasons may be perception only, but that doesn't mean they're invalid.

I can understand your frustration, millenials. But instead of leaving, I suggest you stop being selfish.

You heard me right. Stop being selfish.

Your faith isn't solely yours. Did you know that? Yes, it shapes your beliefs and your values, but it also should determine how you live your life, which means that everyone you come in contact with is affected by your faith. Not only that, but as a Christian, your faith gives you a responsibility beyond your self.

If your answer to your frustration is to walk out of the church, you're not really thinking of how your absence from the church will affect the world around you. If you think your faith is only between you and God, you've been taught incorrectly -- and that's exactly what the enemy wants you to think. He knows you feel frustrated by the choices you see being made by fallible people who sometimes make mistakes. But walking out of the church makes it look like, for whatever reason, you're refusing to jump in and try to make a difference.

You may also be ignoring the call that God has given you to be an active part of a community of believers that upholds each other and impacts the people of its locale. The Bible calls us the light of the world and the salt of the earth. If you have a lamp but never plug it in, what good is it? And If you have salt in your cupboard but never put it on your food, it's useless. It may as well not be salty. That's what your faith is like if you remove it from regular fellowship and involvement with a community of other Christians.

I'm not saying it's impossible for you to impact your world when you're not part of a church body -- it certainly is. But you can cover much more ground and be much more effective as part of a group of believers that are united under one purpose than you can by yourself. We're not meant to walk our faith out alone.

There are churches out there that do a better job at some things than the local church that you're currently part of. This is true no matter what denomination you're in, what pastor is the head of your church, what outreach programs are available, what age group your church attracts, or where you're located. So if you're frustrated to the point of wanting to walk out of the church, my suggestion is to find a new church. It may sound like a weird idea, but people do it all the time. In fact, every church should have a specific mission that they communicate plainly -- a statement of what they focus on above all other things. Find a church whose vision you agree with, whose style matches yours, and who gives you opportunities for involvement. And of course, make sure the basis for their vision and teaching is the Word of God, and nothing else.

Don't neglect spending time with God on your own. Read your Bible, have devotions, spend time in prayer and meditation on God's Word. Then find the community of believers where you think you can make the best and biggest difference, and become an active part of it. You'll have a much more rewarding experience when you practice your faith with others than if you keep it to yourself.

There Is No Box.