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4 Stars Out Of 5
Are you contemplating leaving your church?
July 30, 2013
Changing Churches is based on one couple's journey to find a church home. Finding a church is not easy and shouldn't be taken lightly. Leaving a church for another should not be rushed into either. There are right and wrong reasons to leave, according to Dottie Parish, author of "Changing Churches: A View to a Pew", including false teachers/teachings, neglecting important doctrinal issues and God calling you to ministry at another church.
Parish and her husband were not church hoppers. They expected to find a church home where they could serve and grow. In the process, they left two churches that they thought would be their church home forever. Both times they had to battle hurt feelings, broken relationships and spiritual struggles. Through their experience, Parish learned valuable lessons she believed God wanted her to share with others dealing with the issue of changing churches. She explains her position well and shows that you can leave a church gracefully even though you may lose friends in the meantime.
She also helps those left behind deal with friends who leave. She gives advice about how to search for a new church and find one that fits God's plan for you. Parish's book helped me define some of the issues I've had and showed me how to deal with them. If you are a pastor or staff member, Changing Churches will help you understand why people are leaving your church.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Christian Women Affiliate, as part of their Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
This book shares a personal journey, including a return to faith and a love for God and for his people in particular congregations. I found it not preachy, but sincere and direct. The author examines the motivations for leaving one church and joining another, and explores the personal impacts on people who take "church" seriously and value the friendships established there. She also critiques the ways that churches have changed and are changing, and presents factors that facilitate a "good" church. I especially appreciated Chapter Eight, the responsibilities of the church member; all too often the man or woman in the pew is a spectator and a critic, rather than a healer and builder. I also appreciated Chapter Nine, which focuses on the shepherding role of church leaders, reminding us that they are doubly accountable to God. All in all, this is a practical and balanced viewpoint from the heart, reminding us that it is God who is building his church, and putting into a Biblical perspective our roles as leaders and followers.