Growth By Removal

I recently wrote a post about church growth and received some good feedback from many. I promised I would continue some thoughts on this subject, so I will follow through with my promise. God, however, enlightened me with something other than what I originally planned to write.

Someone has recently shared with me about a personal growth process. This growth process has involved the removal of some friends she thought were great, but she has discovered they were toxic. This removal was necessary for growth.

Let me illustrate this on a church level. Several years ago, a year had an issue with a secretary. This secretary had been in this role for a long time, had several family members in the church, and was married to a staff member. The “board” was afraid to address the issue. After several months, the pastor moved forward to remove this secretary, knowing that her spouse would also leave. Nearly 15 percent of the church left. The result was like any surgery. You grow through a healing process from the removal of the diseased organ, but health is restored in a better way than before.

You might ask what the biblical principle behind this might be. Galatians 5:9 says that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. In the context of Galatians, Paul was addressing a group of people who were attempting to make certain works necessary for salvation. When we tolerate a little false doctrine or a little immorality, it affects the whole body like a small area infected by staph infection affects a person’s whole body.

The biggest hindrance to your church growth or personal growth may be something that needs to be removed. You will feel the effects of the removal for a season, but the long-term results are what you must keep in mind.


14 thoughts on “Growth By Removal

  1. Going through a battle in our church right now. This was helpful for me. Asking for discernment and wisdom in dealing with my own emotions and thoughts.

  2. Great stuff, Matthew. In our case, it was our family that needed to be removed. We were called away and for far too many years (an embarrassing number) we lingered, not wanting to hurt others but to help. But sometimes the removal is what helps. Sometimes the pain involved allows the root of the problem to be exposed and addressed and is the first step towards true healing…

    1. Your not alone so many of us are going through this. Stand firm in Christ no matter what follow Him. He is our great reward.

  3. The Bible always warns us from the time the of Abraham to be separate from certain people for a reason and to confront when necessary for our sake as a people and our relationship with God. Thank you for this post it reminds me we are not alone in understanding this truth. We have been going through a mass exodus ourselves as a family. I’ve been writing about it on and off on my site and it’s been a journey with a lot of spiritual warfare since we walked away from both our families. We have never been more free and closer to God because of obeying Him. Will you pray for us? We are dealing with a lot these days and we are determined to follow God no matter the attacks of the enemy.

  4. I’m in a season of my life where God has been removing a lot of things from my life. (I would call it a wilderness season). It really doesn’t FEEL like growth, but I know that it is growth. It’s counter-intuitive.

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