Tucked away in the oft-forgotten New Testament book of Jude, we discover six different types of church people to be wary of. These six types of people have the potential to destroy any good work a church is trying to accomplish, destroying the church from within if left unchecked. It’s these six types of church members that we need to be on the guard from, to ensure that God’s work is not encumbered in our churches. To honor Jude’s warning, here is his list, with language updated for today’s modern church.
6 Types of Church Members That Will Destroy Your Church
1. The Perv (v. 4) – These church members are the creepy ones. They use and abuse God’s forgiveness as a license for immorality. Since God loves to forgive (their thinking goes), they have a blank check to indulge in every sinful behavior. Watch out for these members.
2. The Rebel (v. 8) – These church members reject the authorities placed over them. Pastors, elders, deacons, whomever, 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 the business meetings because they have no respect for authority and it shows.
3. The Meathead (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 work of seeing things from a different perspective, these church members loudly and defiantly decry anything new or anything that doesn’t fit into the very small frame through which they see the world.
4. The Taker (v. 12) – These church members think that the church is a cruise ship and you’re there as the pastor to meet their every wish. Don’t worry about bothering them about serving or contributing to the greater mission; that would be wasted breath. These church members are leeches, sucking the life and energy from a church without returning any of it. Keep a wooden stake handy for these vampires.
5. The Grumbler (v. 16) – These church members are usually miserable, and you know how the old saying goes: misery loves company. Nothing will ever go right for these members, and their one glimmer of satisfaction is to spread their non-cheer wherever they can. These are the ones that can find the cloud within every silver lining.
6. The Throne Hog (v. 16) – I’ve known a few of these along the way, and they are a handful. At the end of the day, these church members allow pride to rule them. They’re proud about how blessed and godly they are. Secretly, they think God should be thankful that they’re on His team. They think leadership within the church is a right (not privilege) for them. Don’t stand to close to them, because you don’t want to be knocked over when God finally brings them low.
4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you.They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. 8 In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. 10 Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them. 12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage. Jude 1:4,8,10,12,16