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When Should You Leave a Church?

When should you leave a church? I've been wrestling with this for the past year as some folks have left ours and as new folks have started coming. It's hard to give counsel without being subjective. Church leaders rarely want to see people go. We often are delighted to see new people arrive. What to say?

Here's one person's perspective, offering good reasons, possible reasons, and insufficient reasons.

Good Reasons for Moving On—The Four P’s
    1. Providential moving
    2. Planting another church
    3. Purity has been lost
    4. Peace of the church is in jeopardy due to my presence

Possible Reasons for Moving On – The Three S’s

    1. Spouse…
    2. Special Needs…
    3. Special Gifts…

Reasons Often Used Which are Insufficient

    1. Children's Ministry…
    2. Buzz…
    3. Youth Group…
    4. Church has changed…
    5. New Pastor…
    6. I’m Not Being Ministered to…
    7. Music…
    8. There are others…”
For further explanation on each, read the whole thing.

HT: Greg Gibson

8 comments:

cgl said...

I know a lot of people don't really consider the matter to be subjective at all.

Brian G. Hedges said...

Care to explain more?

Amanda said...

I read this the other day and was going to email it to you, but figured you'd have seen it, too. ;)

cgl said...

Well, I will only speak for myself when I say that the past year was particularly angering (at times), sad (at times) and just plain frustrating because I don't consider the issue to be all that subjective (in 95% of cases). To me it is pretty cut and dry what is appropriate in the case of Fulkerson Park right now. I guess I hadn't talked with you much lately.

Brian G. Hedges said...

I think it's pretty normal to feel a whole range of emotions when people leave a church -- especially when the people leaving are friends. So, I understand. But, I'm not sure I agree that 95% of the people who left were actually wrong to do so (this was your implication, if not words, correct?). But, again, it's hard for ME to be objective!! :)

Brian G. Hedges said...

Oh, and we should get together. It has been a while since we've really talked.

cwhairqueen said...

My standard that Kristin and I have set for this topic would only allow for leaving a church (besides the practical like moving away) at things along the lines of genuine heresy (which I guess I would also define in a certain way) and gross financial mis-appropriation and besides mostly those two things, it is wrong to leave a church.

Brian G. Hedges said...

Well, I've gotta say I'm thankful for your commitment. May your tribe increase!