When You Know it's Time to Leave Your Church

When You Know it's Time to Leave Your Church

If you’re a church-going believer, there inevitably will come a time when you will transition from one church to another.

Depending on your church background, this could be both a strenuous spiritual assignment and a difficult practical task. While I don’t advocate “church-shopping” or frequently leaving churches in general, I do understand that there’s a season and time for everything.

Frankly, it’s incredibly rare for anyone to attend one church for their entire life.

The local churches you see in a community today are widely diverse. It’s fascinating to see the differences in churches that are mere miles away from one another. With such diversity, it’s not uncommon to leave one church one day and drive down the street to try out another church the next week in order to find a church home.

The lifeline of a local church can be exhausting.

There are seasons within the local church that are exciting followed by seasons of stagnation. No church is immune from this. There are new trends and approaches that come and go. On average there are pastoral changes every six years (per LifeWay). There are moments of supernatural God encounters and times you feel like God is non-responsive.

These reasons often lead to a mass exodus of people. When people start leaving, everyone who hasn’t left notices. In these moments, naturally anyone begins contemplating whether or not it’s their time to transition to another church.

So, let’s look at some reasons you should consider leaving your church.

7 Frustrations That Make Small Group Leaders Quit (and Solutions to Save the Day)

7 Frustrations That Make Small Group Leaders Quit (and Solutions to Save the Day)

Growing a healthy small group system within any church doesn’t solely rely on identifying and training new leaders. Retention – keeping leaders serving in their area of purpose and away from frustration and burnout – is arguably more important than fresh faces.

Without preserving leaders, the system becomes a revolving door of people walking in and out. Such a system appears distrusting from the outside. Why would a church or community member join a group when the leaders don’t even stick around for a while?

While currently in our fourth year of small groups at our church, in the beginning we struggled to keep the same leaders from year to year.

Part of this issue simply came from building and implementing something new, but part of it was our lack of awareness to the obstacles small group leaders face and being prepared to offer scriptural solutions.

No one can deny that more leaders leads to more groups, and more groups lead to more people being pastored, discipled and cared for in a strategic, biblical manner (i.e. Exodus 18).

So, on top of leaning into new leaders, we asked questions to past leaders about why they no longer served. We asked current leaders what frustrations they had that made them want to stop leading.

Overall, recurring statements emerged. Now, we’re better prepared to talk a leader off the ledge when quitting their group over normal frustrations becomes a thought.

Here are seven frustrations that make small group leaders want to resign with seven practical solutions we’ve offered in return:

The First Step to Managing Your Money Better

The First Step to Managing Your Money Better

If we look at the scope of life there’s a few mainstay pillars that are consistent in individuals. These pillars are areas most of us focus on or which impact us greatly. I would categorize them like this:

  1. Spiritual

  2. Family

  3. Career

  4. Finances

  5. Health

I’m willing to bet that every decision you make (good or bad) on a daily basis has one of these five pillars in mind. The lifestyle we live, the clothes we where, the jobs we work, and the values we have are all by-products that show how these five areas are progressing in our lives.

With a new year always comes new goals. There’s a good chance you have a goal pertaining to one of these five pillars:

  • I want to go to church a couple of times this year. I want to learn more about what follows this life.

  • I want to start a family or take a next step in a personal relationship.

  • I want to earn a promotion, change jobs, etc.

  • I want to go to the gym or simply stop drinking soda.

  • I want to handle my money better.

Each goal will differ per person, yet the reality is the same. The only way you and I will attain any goals if by self-discipline. If I want to grow closer to God, I have to read His Word and talk to Him. If I want to become physically fit, I need to go to the gym.

If you want to manage you money better, you need a budget. There’s no other way around it. If you ever thought one word could instill fear in an individual — then you found it with the b-word.

In my experience, most people are intimidated by budgeting simply because it appears as a difficult undertaking. Budgeting is a process.

The first step is simply figuring out where your money is going. An effective budget tells your money where to go, so it’s imperative to layout all income and expenses.

The Local Church and Abortion

The Local Church and Abortion

The intertwining co-existence of government and personal faith have rarely worked in each other’s favor. Yet when I look at Bible, I dare to hope for an answer for us as the Local Church today. No one is hopeless when it comes to the issue of abortion. 

With Scripture as our source for living, we are not without examples of what to do when our hearts are burdened to the point of grief. In times of despair and disheartenment, Jesus prayed. So, we pray. In the midst of political chaos and uproar, Daniel fasted. So, we fast. We affirm with the Old Testament prophets, voices speaking up for the innocent. So, we shout and proclaim truth. 

But when the passion of our boiling blood settles to a low heat and the topic fades into the back of the news headlines, when we feel helpless and possibly unable to enact immediate change, when the attentions of our routine life steal the importance of this issue which has bounced back and forth in the realm of focus for decades – where do we stand beyond the short-term? 

During government-ordered abortions in Exodus Ch. 2, we see a combination of responses from people of faith, just like us. Midwives Shiphrah and Puah were not compliant and equivalently protested. Moses’ sister watched, waited and offered guidance in the right direction. Moses’ mother served in the gap to ensure life was guaranteed.

Just as I see examples of faith giants in the age of abortion thousands of years ago, I also see a model for consistent long-term action on our end as The Local Church. We’ve each as a body been sovereignly assigned people within our care outside of the church doors. Today we typically call this a community. 

To our community, our preaching may fall on deaf hears. Our words may be misunderstood. But, there are godly solutions. Here are ways we can build for great Kingdom impact in addition to our devotions and disciplines of prayer, fasting, and proclaiming:

The Storm is Never Larger than a Supernatural God

The Storm is Never Larger than a Supernatural God

Some days, life can be as crazy as standing in the middle of a hurricane and watching as things fly by. On others it can be as calm as sitting on a beach and listening to the peacefulness of the waves.

Whether someone is begging for the hurricane to be over or soaking in the stillness of the beach – JESUS is present.

This particular Saturday afternoon was one that lands, somewhat, in a place that seemed close to the madness of a storm. At the time, I was sitting in this random room in a church, and it was as if I was aching for peace. 

There were empty light brown metal chairs everywhere in the room. I observed my surroundings as a sea of teenagers barged in from outside. They separated into every direction. Whispers filled the little room as we waited for the evening to start. 

With my family in ministry and growing up in church, I had been to many of these church gatherings before.

… so I told myself that it was going to be just like the rest of them.

I found my seat next to some friends and fell into small conversation. As I became uninterested in the girls’ discussion minutes later, I began to focus on the soft background music.

I recognized the song and as it played through my head, my friend leaned over and told me how excited she was. I began to that maybe, just maybe, this one would be different than the others, but my mind instantly shook the thought away.

Shortly after, the music began to die down and a man walked to the front of the stage. His walk seemed like it was slow-motion, and I could feel the atmosphere heighten as the room grew quieter.

The man introduced himself as the youth pastor and welcomed everyone. I scrambled in my seat to get a better look at the pastor and the many other people that filled the room.

He passionately spoke about how much God loves every single one us and I somehow felt like he was talking directly to me. I got this calming feeling as I intensely listened to him talk about how great God is (I mean who wouldn’t). 

I suddenly started feeling slightly uncomfortable in my seat.

In a way I know the Lord is trying to speak to me in this exact moment, but as I look at my friends, I can read their blank expressions.

The music began to softly play behind the pastor’s words; as he began to close his message, his words started to pull me back in. Then he asked us to stand.

As I found a good position to see over the crowd in front of me, the pastor made direct eye contact with me. I got a warm chill through my body.

In a split second, it seemed like time stood  s t i l l.