Diagnosis and Cure for a Disaffected Church Member
Here is a fantastic article on the anatomy of disaffection: diagnosing the problem and giving the solution.
Are you on this track? Reb Bradley offers important counsel on how to make your way back to honor.
I. The Problem
A. Sheep sometimes lose trust in their shepherd
Puritans called this loss of trust “disaffection”
B. Disaffected people are unable to follow the leadership of one they do not trust
C. They cease to feed from his hand 1. They dry up spiritually 2. They fall away from Christ 3. They leave the church
Common statements made by disaffected sheep:
“I’m not being fed here anymore.”
“I’m bored with the teaching.”
“I’m not challenged enough.”
“I’m spiritually dry.”
“The teaching has changed from what it used to be.”
“I’m not excited to come each Sunday like I used to. I don’t leave each week seeing Jesus.”
“There’s just nothing here for me anymore. I don’t sense the Spirit here.”
“I don’t trust the pastor.”
“I don’t understand why others are blessed by him.”
“Others might be blessed by him, but they wouldn’t be if they knew what I know.”
II. Various reasons sheep will stop feeding from their shepherd, including disaffection:
A. His teaching has begun to lack substance, because he is failing in sermon preparation or is secretly living in sin
B. The pastor is not a great expositor and the sheep lack the discipline or lose motivation to glean carefully for food
C. He is a fine expositor, but his knowledge and vocabulary grow beyond his audience
D. That which initially drew the individuals to the shepherd’s teaching is still there, but they have gotten used to his style and have become bored with it.
E. The shepherd varies his teaching styles and the sheep lose interest when the series or style changes
F. A sheep is failing in some area of his personal life and has lost his appetite for good food.
G. The sheep is seriously disaffected – he no longer trusts the shepherd, so begins critiquing the spiritual meals provided — which results in malnourishment and spiritual weakness