What To Do When Your Church Splits

A church in our city has bred more church splits than any church I’ve know.  They drove out the first pastor I knew who was a great teacher.  The next one they didn’t like any better.  So when he wouldn’t leave a core group gutted the church and started a “mission church.”

That spinoff has split several times since.  And those spinoffs have imploded.

It truly saddens me when I talk to people impacted by those splits. Many left and found a healthy church.  Some left and still harbor resentments.

All still carry some hurt.

Ephesians says, “The Messiah has made things up between us so that we’re now together on this, both non-Jewish outsiders and Jewish insiders. He tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance.”  (Ephesians 2: 14 MSG)

We don’t struggle in our churches between Jewish and non-Jewish doctrine today.  But the doctrinal gate keepers still stand guard.

Yet, Jesus tore down the walls.  So if we see divisions who creates them?

And what do we do when we’re caught in the midst of that strife?

I can only tell you what I’ve done.

First, I made darn sure I wasn’t part of the problem.  I tried to help if I could and never poured gasoline on the fire.

Second, in the midst I remembered I’m impure like everyone else.  I’m saved by God’s grace so I have no reason to exclude anyone.

Third, conversely I remembered I’m not spiritually inferior to anyone else either.

And fourth, when it didn’t heal I finally just packed up and left.  Life’s way too short.

Those four things have helped me immensely when I’ve been caught in that mess.

Maybe they can help you too.

Strife in a church is from people not God.

 

Have you ever gone through a church split?  What helped you?