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It’s fairly easy to find a book or an article that tells you how to choose and join a church.

Eugene Peterson, for example, writes in one of his books that it’s a good idea to choose the church that is the smallest and closest to your home. American evangelicals shuffle all too often from church to church, following the movements and fancies of the moment, but that’s not what I’m addressing here.

) It is important that you leave your church graciously and join your new church graciously.

Eugene Peterson writes: Every time I move to a new community, I find a church close by and join it—committing myself to worship and work with that company of God's people. Everyone turns out to be biblical, through and through: murmurers, complainers, the faithless, the inconstant, those plagued with doubt and riddled with sin, boring moralizers, glamorous secularizers.

The church is the mantelpiece of God, the display of God’s splendor before the angels (Ephesians )!

So let us take care that we cherish the organism that Christ suffered to create—and may God bless his church!

These exit interviews are rare, but they are sweet. So when someone comes to me, shares where God seems to be leading her, and gives thanks for her season of involvement at SBCC, I beam with joy. But the pain is softened when we learn that he or she is going to settle in a godly congregation of Christ-exalting believers.

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It should hurt because we have lived our lives with a group of people, and now we are leaving. Doctrinal considerations or the specific needs of our children are, for instance, two valid reasons for leaving a church.We might even find ourselves selling our property in order to meet another’s needs (Acts ff.).We are to be a forgiving community (Colossians ) that is deeply in love with one another (John ). Christ died to bring the church into being (Ephesians )!The New Testament knows nothing of individual believers taking a little from here and sampling a little from over there.The biblical doctrine of the church describes a body of believers deeply committed to Christ and to one another.

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