I have been putting this blog off for a while. I wrote a blog a while back called “5 questions to ask when you are bored with your church”. I got a of people emailing me and asking me what are good reasons to leave your church. So here is my answer…..
What most ministers say…..
I have heard too many ministers say that the only biblical reason for leaving a church is when the church doesn’t preach and teach the bible faithfully. But that leaves me with a bunch of questions:
- What does preaching and teaching the bible faithfully look like?
- What if relationships in the church have been broken beyond repair?
- What if you have the opportunity of a lifetime at another church?
- What if you aren’t being used at your church?
- What if you have tried to fix the problems at your church but no one is listening?
Saying that the only good reason for leaving a church is because of lack of biblical teaching is unsatisfying.
You should leave your church when…
They don’t preach the gospel.. If they don’t preach the gospel and you have talked with the teaching pastor about the teaching and they don’t listen then leave.This is a no brainer.
You have a relationship that is toxic to your faith at the church….. If there is a relationship that is toxic to your faith and mental well being I think it is okay to leave provided that you have sought to rescue the relationship by all possible means. If you have not sought to rescue the relationship either because you are avoiding the issue or sin in your own life then God is calling you to stay and be reconciled to your brother or sister in Christ. (Matthew 5:23-24)
You have a great opportunity at another church which doesn’t exist at your church….. You are offered a great opportunity in training or a job or something else at another church and this opportunity will allow you to minister to others, train you for future ministries and will stretch you to know God in a deeper way then it is okay to leave provided you have cleared it with your current minister and there are no opportunities that are similar at your current church.
You have tried and worked hard to be a positive force for good and fix the problems at your church but no one seems to care…. Every church has issues. But if you have seen those issues that you think are significant and you have worked hard at changing them and you are being ignored then it I think it is okay to leave provided that you have actually worked at the issues. Many Christians point out the issues and expect someone else to fix it and then get frustrated when no one does fix it. This is a sinful attitude. You be the change you want to see. You want to see more fellowship happening you talk with people about it and make it happen. You want to see the music better then you join the band, learn the songs, come prepared and give it your all etc. If you have only sat on the sideline and been a critic without being in the game then you have no right to leave your church and I would say you may be the problem at your church.
If you are not being used at your church….. Everyone has gifts and there is nothing more frustrating when you are sitting on the sideline wanting to be in the game and no one will let you use your gifts. Now sometimes your pastor might say to you that he doesn’t want you to use your gift because there is sin in your life or you are not where you need to be as a Christian or in your knowledge to serve like you want to. That is a fair and legitimate reason for you not serving and you should cop it on the chin and see if you can serve in other ways. Also you have to think not what I want to do but what does this church need from me? You may be a great vocalist but the band at you r church si stocked with great vocalists and your church needs people to do crèche. Well you jump on the crèche roster because working on the crèche is your gift to the church. The wrong question is “what do I want to do?” The right question is “what does the church need me to do?” This is because gifts are there for the building up of the body of Christ not building up of the individual with the gift (1 Corinthians 12-14). If you are not serving in any way because there is no opportunity or no good reason and you have chatted with your minister about it and there is no solution then I think you can leave you church.
Leaving the church should not be a rash decision. It should be thought out and talked out. You shouldn’t leave your church until you have talked with you minister at length about the reasons you have for leaving and you have worked hard to overcome those reasons or you have sought to fix the issues. Only when you have exhausted yourself trying to fix the issues and they remain can you leave your church and go somewhere else as long as you are leaving on the best terms you can with the other people at your church.