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06 Jul '13

When it may be time to leave a church

Posted by T.J. Addington in leaving a church
Some would say that church loyalty is one of the greatest values and certainly jumping from church to church is unhealthy. However, there are legitimate reasons to leave a church and look for another. Just remember that there are no perfect churches.

Consider these reasons:

  • The church is inward focused and having little or no influence outside of its walls
  • There is a legalistic spirit which is anathema to what grace is all about
  • You don't feel comfortable bringing unbelieving friends
  • The congregation is controlled by one or more church bosses and politics is prevalent
  • You have been marginalized by a leader or leaders and don't feel that you can make a positive contribution
  • There is a high control factor to keep church members "in line" with the prevailing group think
  • The church board is highly dysfunctional and cannot lead the congregation into healthy and productive ministry
  • Independent voices are quickly stifled
  • You are not hearing the Scriptures lifted up in the messages but rather psychology and self help
There are no perfect churches but there are churches that see far more Gospel fruit and changed lives than others. With the short time we have we want to make the most impact for Jesus that we can. If that means changing churches it is an OK thing. I have done it for some of these very reasons. 

Congregations, especially dysfunctional ones make it hard for one to leave. They may use guilt and pressure of various kinds to keep one connected. Many take it personally when someone leaves a church. Remember, though that the church we attend is a choice we make and when the choice is taken from us we are no longer in a healthy place. Friendships do not need to go away because we don't attend the same church. If they do, they were superficial friendships in the first place. We will spend eternity together. Sometimes we need to change our location on this side of eternity!