I think a lot while I am running and Saturday the thoughts were about church. I was thinking about a statement I had heard in the past couple of weeks and many times before that. “As a member of a local church, you are here for the duration, you don’t leave when a pastor leaves.”
I have never questioned that statement very much and to some degree I can agree with it. However as I was running and thinking, I am not arware of any Scriptural Basis for such a comment or belief.
There are many reasons why people leave one church and go to another. Sometimes it is a church fight, sometimes it is a Pastoral Change, sometimes it is the fact of no spiritual growth and sometimes people just feel like they need a change.
I was in a church for 3 years that I love. It was a non denominational church and a great group of people. I was there for 3 years and it was one of the Spiritual Markers in my life. It was during this 3 years that I grew in my understanding of Scripture and I was exposed to a group of people that didn’t always think and believe as I did. When I left that church we parted friends, I love these folks, they are still my friends and they still have a church that is doing well. I went to the leadership of the church and said I love you and I am thankful for my time here but I feel it is time to move on and we parted friends. I believe that is a biblical way to part company.
It is due to the fact of my leaving that that I am at FUMC today!
In Acts 15:39, Paul and Barnabus had such a sharp disagreement they parted ways and eventually they came back together in fellowship. By the way, there is nothing in Scripture that says they were mean to each other and had a big fight over parting ways.
After I left the church above, Mike and I visited another local church for about 6 months and I was told by the Pastor of that church, “we are not looking for people to join this church who are coming form another church, we are looking only for new Christians”. Guess what, we didn’t stay there any longer. There is no where in Scripture where anyone could back up a statement like that one. Most of church growth today is movement from one church to another.
The fact is people leave churches all the time. It has been a spiritual marker in my life each time I have left one church and moved to another. The first church I was ever a part of had a split and I was so young in the faith that I had no clue what was happening and I questioned for a long time how could God get glory from that split? Then years later I was able to see that I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had not left that group. The next church I joined was a great body as well, I was there about 5 or 6 years and was asked to move to another local church as the Youth Minister and I accepted that offer. This church was a great experience, I made so many great friends and thought I could never leave there but after a time I did.
Now I admit that God’s Call on my life may be different from others who are reading this blog. God has Called me into a ministry as Pastor/Teacher and we are folks that may be more likely to move from church to church.
However, if you are in a church where you have prayed and worked with the leadership and you are not being fed spiritually on the Word of God then I think it wise to find another church home.
It is amazing the thoughts I have while running.
I have never left a church angry but even if a person left in anger that doesn’t mean that you can’ leave. As a matter of fact if you are in a church where you are not being Spiritually fed, Ithink you should leave.