Thursday: The Back Door
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Have you ever noticed how people often lament the fact that members slip out “the back door”? They even state firmly that the church’s back door must be closed but fail to tell us how to close the door or even the location of the door. Some growing churches may think that their back door is closed, but in reality it may be simply that more people are coming in the front door than going out the back. And while that is better than more going out the back than coming in the front (which is true in some places), we still want to do what we can to retain our members.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Discovering the back door and attempting to close it will take strategies that are indeed evangelistic because our mandate is not simply to win people for God but to hold them.

Read Hebrews 10:25. Why is it important that Christians meet together regularly? When in fellowship together, how much “encouraging” do we give one another? How can we do even more than we are now? 

The decision to leave the fellowship is usually not a sudden one. Rather, most people go through a process of quietly leaving. Just as coming to Christ and His church was a journey, the process of leaving is a journey. Most often for those who leave this is not a consciously planned strategy. They just start to slowly get disconnected, disenchanted, and dissatisfied with things in the church. Maybe, even in some cases, justifiably so. We should, therefore, seek to be aware of the journey of those around us at church.

Read Romans 14:13Galatians 5:13, and Ephesians 4:32. How would living in harmony with these admonitions help to keep the back door closed? What can you and your church do to live out these important truths?  

A caring church, one that continues to care, is a place where each individual is focused upon their personal relationship with Jesus. They have a clear concept of the value that Jesus places upon each individual. Closing the back door involves getting close to people, learning their needs as they are willing to share, and meeting those needs when appropriate. This is something no church program can provide. Only loving, caring individuals can.

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Thursday: The Back Door — 8 Comments

  1. When I was 12 I was reading about Peter and how he denied Christ despite the fact that Jesus warned him. In prayer I asked the Lord what would have happened if he had said Lord I don't want to forsake you help me. Jesus said he would have given him the strength and Peter would stayed strong. I asked the Lord if that would happen to me and He said yes. I asked that he make sure that I didn't and to save me for his Kingdom and He promised. I believe him then and now and that has shut the back door for me. I think when people meet the Lord and believe his promise. Jesus shuts the back door. I say these things and all 3 of my children have left the church (they have stated due to the unkindness of other members). I know that it is because they don't truly know or trust God. I pray everyday that they get to know the Lord and ask that he help me to be a positive influence and not a negative one. Yes, we need to search and call back the lost sheep but we need even more to introduce them to our Lord and Savior and he will seal them for heaven and shut the back door.

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    • Yes, indeed, Gina, when we have a genuine relationship with Jesus, no one can snatch us out of His hand. That's why it's so important for us to introduce people to Jesus, not just correct facts about Him, as you point out.

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  2. What determines the back door of being closed or opened is my relationship and fellowship with Christ Jesus.

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  3. Well said Gina! In order for us to give proper introduction of Jesus, we first have to get to know Him and learn to trust Him. I believe that we can ask God to lock that back door and throw away the key.

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  4. That is right!!! All you are saying is that the back door is closed when our relationship with Jesus Christ is firm, our connectivity and personal relationship is "Rock Firm"!! However until then for those who are not at that level, will keep getting out through the back door!! That is the centre of Thursday's discussion!! How do we close the back door???

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    • I believe you make a very important point here. I also see what other people are saying about our relationship with Jesus. Perhaps the problem we face with the back door is that we are not presenting Jesus the way we should or possibly as strongly as we should and because of that new converts are not getting grounded firmly in Christ. Often what is emphasized are the peripheral things instead of the central theme of Christ and Him crucified.

      At the same time I also believe we shouldn't expect everyone to end up solidly on Christ's side. There will always be tares in the church and those that choose to be fence straddlers no matter what is done. We just need to do our best and leave the rest up to God who is the one who does the converting.

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  5. You're points are correct saints. Another dimension is from Luke 17:1. Because we have tares in the church militant offence will come, meaning the door might remain open despite our efforts to close it, only that we are not supposed to come with it.

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