I know there are legitimate reasons for leaving a church (for example, the message is unbiblical, you've moved to another city, and so on), but too many people leave a church for the wrong reasons. Realizing that there are always exceptions to any of the reasons listed below, I've compiled 11 "weak" reasons to leave:
- You're angry at somebody. You'll simply carry your anger elsewhere. Plus, unrepentant anger is ungodly.
- You don't like the worship style. Preferences are seldom a good reason to leave a church. Churches change, and so do our preferences over time.
- Your ministry passion is no longer supported. It may be that the program or ministry you've grown to love is no longer as relevant as it once was. At least be open to this possibility.
- You don't like the pastor. At a minimum, graciously address the issues with the pastor. Leaving without a conversation is unkind, and it could prove hasty.
- They ask for money. Sure, some churches overemphasize dollars, but every church should be teaching financial stewardship. Be willing to hear them.
- You don't like the message. The message might, in fact, be the gospel—and the gospel is often offensive. A church preaching a message that doesn't make you uncomfortable is likely not preaching the Word.
- The congregation's getting too big. Regardless of the size of the church, you'll still develop genuine relationships with only a few people. Growth doesn't automatically hinder fellowship.
- There's sin in your life. You need to be under the Word of God if you're living in sin. A strong church should be calling you to repentance.
- The church is changing. No church stays the same forever. What matters most is that God and His Word don't change.
- No one's asked you to serve. That doesn't always mean they don't want you to serve; it might be that they need to improve their assimilation and recruitment process. Don't wait—ask somebody about opportunities.
- You just "know the Lord told me so." He might direct you to leave, but listen to Him through His Word, His Spirit and His people. Living according to feelings—especially if you're really not walking with God—is risky.
What reasons would you add to this list?
Thom S. Rainer is the founder and CEO of Church Answers, an online community and resource for church leaders. Prior to founding Church Answers, he served as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife, Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art and Jess; and 10 grandchildren. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter @ThomRainer and at facebook.com/Thom.S.Rainer.
For the original article, visit thomrainer.com.
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