Before You Leave Your Church


3 decisive questions you need to ask before you call it quits


Is it ever wrong to call it quits on your church?

My generation is hungry for authenticity and spiritual life. It often feels like we don’t get that in our churches. I know, church isn’t about what we get out of it but about giving to others.

But what if we’re getting absolutely nothing out of our church? Is it ever wrong to leave?

Some believe there’s no consequence in leaving. Find a church you’re happy with and plug into it. As a pastor’s son, I know how frustrating it can be when it seems as though people are constantly looking for something that makes them happy.

At the same time, my Dad cared about true spiritual life being given in the body of Christ—not all church leaders share that focus. What do you do when it feels like there is more political and material energy in your church than spiritual life?

My Dad left. He left a church. As a pastor. Once, he left a church system, and another time he walked away from an independent church. He always felt it was better for him as a leader to leave then to cause other people to leave.

When standards are talked about more than the Gospel, is it wrong to walk away?

When people value their sense of freedom above holiness, is there anything wrong with letting them go?

When a church is more concerned about handling finances than caring for the emotionally needy, is it okay to say “I don’t want to be a part of that”?

When you’re tired of your church, is it ever wrong to leave?

Some say it is. Some preach that we should stick it out and pour ourselves into church.

“Date your church.”

“Serve your church.”

“Pursue your leaders.”

What if none of that increases the spiritual life? Is it possible to have “Bible believing,” “Christ-following” churches that are spiritually dead?

And if a church is spiritually dead, is it wrong to call it quits and move on?

I am grateful to have been spared the struggle of being a part of a spiritually dead church. Sure, the churches I’ve been a part of have their struggles. But the leadership and congregation, as human and imperfect as they are, deeply desire God and are continually growing.

However, that’s not everyone’s story. In fact, the more I listen, the more I hear many struggle with their church.

This is a question we must hash out. I have several good friends who have wrestled through this very issue in the last couple of years. What if all our typical answers are incomplete?

Is there value in staying? Is there value in leaving? How long do you stay and try to make it work? When do you leave and what are legitimate reasons for leaving?

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