Well, I know this is going to be a topic that may raise some eyebrows but let’s just talk about it for a moment? It has been a while since posting something to social media. This is a topic that just seems to keep coming up in my thoughts so I suppose it’s time to write it down for others to read and maybe glean something from it.
Let’s start with this simple question. What do you do when you feel like leaving your church?
Now I know this may be a question that we really don’t want to even think about but for the sake of this conversation, let’s say you are thinking about leaving. Leaving what? Your church! The place that you have spent quite some time supporting and faithfully giving. How in the world does one come to such a devastating reality? A reality that they feel there is no choice but to leave their church.
It’s not a comfortable feeling to know that you are even considering sure a thing as leaving your church. Leaving the ministry that has been a great part of your journey with Christ. How did you get to this place? Shouldn’t there be a greater commitment the longer to you spend time at a church or should I say ministry?
There may be many reasons that may come up. But the question is do they make sense in God’s eyes.
Think about it!! One must first consider the fact that their grounds for leaving may not be vivid. Maybe their reasoning is just personal or maybe it’s discontent or bitterness. It is important to know the difference between the two.
Yes, this is one of those B.U.G.S. (Being Under The Grip Of Satan) that certainly seems to find its way into our thoughts when feeling frustration, anger, or disappointment. All of this while attending church. Sure, no one wants to admits to really thinking such a thing when they have invested many years to one ministry but let’s be real, it does come up!! Maybe more often than not!!
So what do you do? Why does this question come up in our thoughts? How do you deal with this mentally and still arrive at a suitable answer? Well, let’s explore this a bit further.
The answer to this question could go both ways. There could be a very legitimate reason as to why one feels the need to leave their church (ministry). Maybe there has been a change in leadership causing a slight change in how the truth of God’s word is proclaimed. This would certainly be a valid reason to search for a more suitable church (ministry). A church with leadership that teaches and preaches the Word of God in truth.
Let this be a word of caution …If you are relocating to a different area, then, of course, you would have to also move your church membership. But remember moving to another church simply because you are unforgiving, hateful, and bitter is dangerous.
Ephesians 4:31-32 states, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Are these some of the things you tell yourself?
- I’m tired of the mess! What mess are you really speaking of…are you looking for more gossip to stir up? Or is it that you are in a mess and don’t want to change.
- I have to find me somewhere I can grow. Be sure that you are trying to really grow in God and not just looking for excuses to place blame in regards to the condition your church may be in.
- They are not doing anything so I’m not going to do anything either. Is this a valid reason for you not to work in ministry? Did God instruct you to just sit?
- We do the same thing every Sunday. Make sure you know why you attend worship services at your church. It’s not an entertainment facility.
- I can’t get with that! Maybe its time you do get with something and stop complaining. Are you the one that’s bitter?
- They do what they want to and I’m sick of it. Make sure you are not being judgemental. Maybe there is a need for more Godly instruction and examples for others to see. Are you part of the problem or solution.
- It will never change. Have you given up and lost faith in yourself and God?
- I need more and things are getting worse, not better. Are you seeking God daily instead of being spoon-fed everything in your walk with God? try getting more involved in the vision of the church and do something.
- I have to find somewhere I can grow. Be sure that you know what that growing thing is that you need. Maybe your need to grow is strictly based on your efforts, not others.
- Did you hear what they did and they are still here? Be sure that you are not the gossiper with itching ears. Don’t assume you know all the facts of any situation.
There will always be issues that come up in the church environment that you may or may not agree with but it does not necessarily mean that you have to move your membership hastily. Things like this are truly expected.
A ministry that strives to follow the Word of God and Shepard people will have its problems. It is not good to move so swiftly just because there is an issue you don’t understand or agree with. Let me reiterate this, “You have to pray about the reason you are considering leaving your church before you actually leave!” Many times we move too hastily and make things worst in our walk with Christ.
Another word of caution, you should remember that a church should have the following ingredients according to God’s Word:
- A Godly Foundation (a Pillar)
- God’s authority
- Teaching from God’s Word
- Preaching from God’s Word
- A Godly Standard
- Sound Leadership
- True fellowship
A church is not God’s church when these things are not weaved within its core foundation. These are the things that will make a church survive the warfare and path of destruction Satan has planned for it. Many of our churches today lack these foundational factors so eventually they fail and dissolve in their effectiveness.
All of these things must be considered when you are in the position of deciding to leave. Some of us go from one church to another never considering the consequences and how it will affect our walk with Christ. Then again, maybe we are just not walking as a true believer in Christ. Maybe we are just following every urge that comes up in our lives. We have the tendency to move with every wind that blows. As believers in Christ, we should not entertain this type of behavior because it can be unstable and deadly.
Ephesians 4:14 states, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive”
We must know that everything that sounds good may not be good for us!! We must be very cautious of listening to every wind of doctrine we hear. It could very well be a doctrine that is not in line with God’s Word. It’s only purpose is to make you feel good and nothing else. This walk is not a feeling but a lifestyle. There will be bumps in the road but you don’t stop walking with Christ because of the unexpected.
There must be clarity in one’s mind when considering leaving their church. You must be sure that the reason you are leaving is valid and supported by the foundational structure outlined in the Bible. If that structure is not there in your present situation, then leaving may be necessary.
BUT, let’s talk about the other side of leaving. Whenever you think about leaving, remember this…to leave means to depart from something permanently. True believers should be absolutely clear on the why’s of their decision to leave a ministry (church).
You cannot follow feelings and emotions when making sound decisions about whether you should leave a ministry (church). Any emotional decision will certainly lead to disaster and instability in your Christian walk. You must consider this before hastily deciding your future. Sheep need a Shepard!! Remember this!!
Following a crowd is not beneficial to anyone that is seeking a closer walk with Christ. Let God lead you and stay where God sends you until He tells you to move!!!
It is always better to ask yourself truthfully why it is imperative that you leave so abruptly. Ask yourself, do you want to leave because you are not involved in the process of making the ministry a success. Sitting back and complaining about an issue will not resolve that issue. Get involved and be part of the solution. The leadership in a church needs your input if they are true leaders. An input, of course, does not in any way give you the right to take over or boast about what you have to offer.
Remember Satan’s grip starts in situations just like this. Confusion, division, and controversy are the tactics used to destroy churches. Don’t be a part of this!!
Our churches are suffering well enough from a lack of support and involvement. It seems to be easier for followers to move from one church to another at the spur of the moment. Have we taken on such a mentality that we are too good to actually work and support according to God’s Word? Or are we just running from God? Never wanting to get into the trenches of ministry and hard work.
Maybe its the feeling that they are “doing things over there” and you just want to be where the “action is.” This is not sound reasoning by any means. The church (ministry) is not an entertainment facility that invites you to only show up when there is something going on. Again, maybe we are misinformed of what ministry means. What is our (believers) purpose in participating in the church (ministry)?
Hebrews 10:25 states…” the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
1 Corinthians. 12:7 states, “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.“
There is a purpose in mind when talking about our part in the established church. God will place us in an environment many times for needed guidance during our walk with Him (i.e. He gives us someone to Shepard us during our walk).
- Spiritual edification
We must be prepared to at least give our all to correcting church issues before abandoning the ship! Commitment in times of trouble is hard to find in many church atmospheres. Now think of how your Shepard would feel watching his sheep scatter without any direction. Of course, this is a Shepard that really loves his sheep!!!
We have an obligation to stay on the ship when in troubled waters. Consider your future before leaving the place that you know God has positioned you for your journey. Decide who is the real captain of your ship. YOU OR GOD!!! Be careful in leaving anything when you have not received clarity from God!!
Thank you for listening…
Prayerfully Submitted (An Unfinished Story)
Evang. Debbie Watkins
Disclaimer* These posts are no in any way posted based on expert input. My expertise comes from LIVING LIFE in the CHURCH. Please read with an open mind, attitude, and heart. Thank you.