Jon Noyes explains why believers should consider the role they play in the body of Christ before thinking about leaving a church.
I’m a royal priesthood of believers kind of guy. We are all priests, and we all have responsibility. We’re all theologians. We’re all apologists. We’re all saints of God called, according to his purposes, to further the gospel. So, yes, we have different giftings, and yes, there are different authorities. There are different structures within the church—pastor, elder, deacon—and not everybody is called to those roles, but “layman”—in that you’re just a congregate—let’s throw that kind of thing off of us.
You’re an integral, vital part of the body of Christ. Without you, something’s missing. I’m not saying God needs you, but God wants you—when he’s placed you in a position in your church for a reason—to own that. Maybe your position—maybe the reason why you’re there is because you have a discerning spirit. You can see things other people don’t see necessarily, and maybe God’s going to gift you to talk in the appropriate way to the appropriate person to change that. You need to address the issue. Don’t just leave the church. Don’t just pack up without telling anybody why or telling the pastor, and also, don’t gossip.
These are the three main things. One, address the problem. Two, don’t just leave. Three, don’t gossip. If you have an issue with somebody, go talk to that person. Don’t talk about that person. Talk to that person, and then bring that issue up.
These things aren’t easy, I know, but that’s what my advice is. As a pastor, that’s what I would want. If somebody hears me saying something wrong, I want people to come talk to me because maybe I’m wrong, and truth is my ultimate pursuit. If I’m wrong on something, I want to know it, and I want to be given the opportunity to speak. Maybe I just made a mistake, or maybe I don’t see the blind spot. We’ve all got blind spots. We’re all hypocrites. Maybe somebody pointing that out to me will help lead me into repentance and then allow me to worship God more fully in that way.