Tucked away in the oft-forgotten New Testament Book of Jude, we discover six different types of devotees to be wary of. These six types of people have the potential to destroy any good work a church tries to do, destroying the church from within if left unchecked. It is of these six types of church members that we need to be on our guard, to make sure that God’s work is not cluttered up in our churches. To honor Jude’s warning, here is his list, with updated language for today’s modern church.

6 types of church members who will destroy your church

1. The pervert (v. 4) – These church members are the most frightening. They use and abuse God’s forgiveness as a license for immorality. Since God loves to forgive (their thoughts go), they have a blank check to engage in any sinful behavior. Beware of these members.

2. The rebel (v. 8) – These church members reject the authorities placed on them. Pastors, elders, deacons, whoever it is, no one can tell them what to do or how to do it. These church members are the ones you dread taking the microphone at business meetings because they have no respect for authority and it shows.

3. The meat head (v.10) – These church members never let a little ignorance get in the way of a good argument. Without knowing all the facts or doing the job of seeing things from a different perspective, these church members speak out loud and clear about anything new or anything that doesn’t fit into the very small frame through which they see the world.

4. The lessee (v. 12) – These church members think that the church is a cruise ship and that you are there as a pastor to fulfill their every wish. Do not worry about disturbing them to serve or contribute to the greater mission; it would be lost breath. These church members are leeches, sucking life and energy from a church without giving anything back. Keep a wooden stake handy for these vampires.

5. The growl (v. 16) – These church members are generally unhappy, and you know the old saying goes: misery loves company. Nothing will ever go well for these members, and their only glimmer of satisfaction is to spread their non-cheering wherever they can. They are the ones who can find the cloud in every silver lining.

6. The pig of the throne (v. 16) – I have known a few along the way, and they are a handful. Ultimately, these church members allow pride to rule them. They are proud to be blessed and pious. Secretly, they think God should be grateful to be on His team. They believe that leadership in the church is a right (not a privilege) for them. Don’t stand too close to them because you don’t want to be knocked down when God finally brings them down.

4 Because certain individuals whose condemnation was written a long time ago have secretly crept among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. 8 Likewise, by dint of dreams, these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and revile heavenly beings. ten Yet these people slander anything they don’t understand, and the very things they instinctively understand, like irrational animals do, will destroy them. 12 These people are tares in your feasts of love, eating with you without the least scruple, shepherds who feed only on themselves. They are clouds without rain, carried by the wind; autumn trees, fruitless and uprooted, twice dead. 16 These people are complainers and scavengers; they follow their own bad desires; they brag about themselves and flatter others for their own benefit. Jude 1: 4,8,10,12,16

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