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  • Junissa

    Our spiritual maturity must come out during these times. I left my church 5 months ago, after taking 6 weeks to reflect on whether I should leave and to listen to God’s direction. I felt like (knew) I was not growing or serving. Within those 6 weeks no one reached out to me in any form. Since it was not my intention to leave, I had to go church shopping. I eventually found an assembly that provided opportunities to serve, bear fruit and show Christ’s love. One of the first messages I heard at my new church was ‘Go get the wanderer’. I was shocked at how little attention we pay to our in-house wanderers.
    We really ought to exercise grace over hurt feelings when persons leave. Last week I sought out my ‘old’ pastor to share with him why I left and we had an effective discussion. It still concerns me that no one cared enough to ask why I was ‘missing’ from church. However, since I firmly believe that we are all bound for the same place, that is, our citizenship is in heaven, I see no reason for resentment and a build-up of bad blood. Perhaps, Pastor Kurt, you can initiate a discussion with those sheep who now growl at you. The Good Shepherd went after that 100th, wayward, rebellious, biting sheep.

    • Dear Junissa,
      Thank you for you insights and honesty. And I agree, too often we pastors miss it here. Sometimes we are unsure about what to do, sometimes we are unaware (especially in a larger church), and sometimes we are unwise in our response/reaction to a person’s departure. Please forgive us/me and know that many of us still do have the heart of a shepherd willing to leave the 99 for the sake of the one.

      Still growing,
      Kurt

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  • As if it needs to be said… I never left Eastpoint because of problems I had with other people. Yeah I got frustrated because I was going through an insane amount of stress but if I directed any of that at you, I apologize because you had nothing to do with it. What simply came about was that I was sick and tired of botching everyone else’s effectiveness in ministry. And when it was pointed out that I didn’t have the chops for it, I felt like I’d lost everything, not because you guys said it but because I knew it to be true. I left because there was simply no point in keeping up any pretense that I ever belonged to God to begin with.

    • I love and miss you, Michael. And for the record, you are His my friend. Hope to talk soon…

  • John Forbes

    Great Article Kurt — tangible tools for others — thanks for sharing!

  • This is especially true at funerals. A church member dies and ex-members come to pay respects. We often see one couple at funerals that will literally turn their back on us.

    • Thank you for sharing a bit of your story, David. I feel your pain brother!

  • This is so good, Kurt. It’s also interesting being a pastor’s wife and running into people who hate your husband. Lots of awkward conversations, avoidant eyes, and just plain ignoring going on. Sometimes I just want to slap people. ;)

    • Yup, my wife actually gets out and about more than I do and runs into more folks. It takes a special grace to be a pastors wife. Praying for you, Jaimie!

  • Toni Birdsong

    I love blog posts that talk about the things that NO ONE wants to talk about. This is a great post. Gonna send to a few of my pastor friends. It really is about the bigger picture and trusting God. Thanks for a great post.

    • Thank you, Toni. I really appreciate your kinds words. Glad it blessed you!