[dropcap]I[/dropcap] came across this article yesterday and thought it was very insightful. Over the past eight years of pastoring I’ve personally dealt with people who have left the church for four of these reasons (I’ve never had to deal with #2…yet!). Leaving a church is a difficult and even painful decision to make. The decision to part with the body should be made only after a believer has examined himself or herself to determine if they are being driven by their emotions or if they are being led by the Spirit of God. If they have had a disagreement with anyone in the body, then they should not leave until they have Biblically confronted those with whom they have had conflicts. Leaving a church should always be a last resort for any believer, and when you leave you must be able to walk away with no anger or bitterness toward the church (meaning her people and leadership).
Today’s culture breeds a “consumerism” that has infected the church. Remember, the church is not some department store or restaurant that you frequent until something better or different comes along. The church is a body into which you are grafted. The local church is part of you and you are part of her. You have been gifted to serve others, and others have been gifted to serve you through your local church (See Romans 12:3-21 and 1 Corinthians 12:12-31).
Are there legitimate reasons for leaving a church? Yes. Have I advised people to leave a church? Yes. But all too often people leave for one of the reasons listed in the article below and, as a pastor, this truth saddens me.