• Very good article–the Lord can teach us much through painful experiences.

  • anonymous

    Thank you for this. Our family experienced the negative aspect of each of your points as we left our church family after 10 years. We left for growth and maturity as well as a more organized youth group for our teenage daughter. We expressed love and appreciation to leadership as we left. He responded in a temper tantrum. In spite of that, we did not share negative stories with others including the leaders in our new church. In spite of that, we were completely cut off and to this day ( 6 years later) when we see our former Pastor he has not forgiven us for leaving. Of course his close leadership follows his lead. We are no longer in the fellowship of loved ones we worshiped and led with for many years. We cannot convey to our former Pastor that we have been able to joyfully “pay forward” to our new church all we learned under years of his teaching and training. Sadly, many others who would like to leave, do not for fear of losing their church family–so they stay. Thankfully, we are mature and have not allowed this to keep us from moving on and serving where the Lord has led us. The Lord has power over us not a man. Many others who also left this church, experienced the same shunning and no longer worship anywhere because they do not trust the church. Heartbreaking.

    This is an important post and I hope many pastors and leaders understand that sometimes God is really calling us to scatter seeds in a new location. We are doing Kingdom work and we are all on the same team–just sitting on different benches. Sometimes, we need to become discouraged in our current location in order to get the motivation to leave.

    As for church members–it is our obligation to leave peacefully, explain our reasons in kindness and love and not stir any trouble in the body of Christ. We do not seek to take others with us.

    Thanks for the wisdom!