I was talking with a Christian from another church about a situation she encountered at yet another church.  This third church has home groups that meet throughout the week.  The purpose of these groups is to discuss what was said in church that Sunday, and to react in ways that they cannot during the Sunday morning service.  She was interested and wanted to join one of these groups.  So she asked the pastor where they met.  She was told she could not participate, these groups were only for people who were “fully committed” to that particular church.


She saw me on Facebook and asked what I thought.  I told her that while I thought it was a bit extreme that she couldn’t participate in the group because she was not fully committed to the church, I generally agree with the idea.  There are a number of people who see no harm in belonging to more than one church.  As a pastor, I see “harm.”  Not the “you are going to hell if you don’t straighten up” kind of harm; rather it is the harm that comes from a lack of consistency.


There are several pastors in this community, whom I love, fellowship with and would have no problem recommending to people who don’t believe Greater Life Church is where God has called them to be.  However, none of them teach like I teach and we do not agree on everything.  To be certain, we agree on what is important, what we call the essentials of Christianity, but on those other issues, those non-essentials (too many to mention) we don’t always see eye to eye.  Okay, so where is the harm?


Right there - right in the way we handle those non-essentials.  I do and say what I think is best for people and I truly believe that if you were to follow my advice you would find yourself in a better place in time than you currently are now.  My pastor friends often have differing opinions.  Not right, not wrong, not even better or worse, just differing.  Go to them and they will tell you another way to improve your situation.  Which do you follow?


 What I have found is these people often follow neither.  They don’t have to, because they claim they like the other pastor’s advice better and are going to follow it (which they don’t do either).  In belonging to more than one church, they wind up belonging to none.  That is the harm.  We pastors are put in people’s lives to help them draw closer to God.  Not because we are better people, but because that is how God set it up.  If I did not believe God speaks through me, I would not be the pastor of this church, I have other skills.


Having said this, I told them to go ask their own pastor what they thought, and regardless of what I have said – go and do what they tell you.