So, you think that you want to leave your church. You want to find another one. The church you call home just isn’t cutting it anymore, ¿right? Well, ask yourself some questions. Is the pastor of your current church teaching biblical truth? What does the fruit of his work loo like? In other words, ¿what kind of example does the congregation set as believers in Christ, as they go about their daily lives?
I tell you to ask yourself these questions to help you reflect on why you want to leave, and to help you determine if it is the church that is doing something wrong, or if you may need to look at some things in your own life. You may be experiencing true neglect on the church’s part to teach you biblical truth. You may be hungering for the Word of the Lord, and lacking a pastor who presents it balanced and in context. Or, your hunger for more of Him could be related to what you’re not doing when you’re away from church.
Let’s first review a few reasons why you should leave a church:
Doctrinal Disputes (Galations 1:8) – When a church is teaching things that are clearly not in accordance with the bible, you should run. That’s right, RUN! Romans 16:18 goes on to say that such people that do teach these things are not serving our Lord Jesus, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattey they deceive the minds of the naive. Therefore, if ever there was a good reason to leave a church, this is the best.
Fruits of the Pastor (Sins of the congregation run rampant 1Cor 5) – I call it this because I believe that when a pastor takes responsibility for herding the flock, the lives of that flock become the fruit of his work. Please do not take me as if I mean to say that the pastor can be held accountable for the sin of the entire church, but it is the responsibility of the leaders of a congregation to identify utter defiance of the faith on the part of the of the church-goers. If there are things going on within the body of a particular assembly of believers that is obviously at odds with how the bible teaches us to behave, and they are left unchecked by the leaders, then you should suspect that the sinning in the body does not start there, but at the head.
Gross Hypocrisy of Leadership (2Tim 3:5, James 3:1) – Leaders, which the bible states will be judged more strictly than your average Joe, are to live a life above reproach. This is not to say that you should critique every move your pastor makes, because we know that Paul tells us in Romans 3:23 that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, which is the reason we need a savior in the first place. But he says also in Romans 6:12 not to let sin reign in our mortal body. And that we (V7) are free from sin, because (V6) our old self has been crucified with Christ when we accepted Him as our Savior. I believe that these verses apply in a special way to anyone who accepts the responsibilities of a leader. Thus, if you are able to see a consistent pattern of hypocrisy in the leaders of your church, again… RUN!
While this is by no means an exhaustive list of reasons to depart from a fellowship of believers, I do feel that it covers the most serious reasons. There of course could be other reasons such as; moving, another church offers more mature teaching, or to be with people in the faith that you are closer with. But anyone contemplating transferring to another church should do so with much consideration and careful prayer. It should not be something that is done frequently. Church membership is something that should be taken very seriously. Stay tuned for Part 2