When Do You Know It’s Time to Leave Your Church?

Since we’re still in the first few days of 2008, it’s always a good thing to assess where you are and what you’re doing. I was amazed to hear Mike Holmgren, coach of the Seattle Seahawks in an interview say that each and every year, no matter how well his team plays (and they’re still in the playoffs, by the way) he assesses whether or not he’s going to re-up for another year. This is not a bad thing for any of us to do, particularly if you’re a pastor of a church.

Just because you’ve been the pastor in 2007 doesn’t mean you need to stay there. Trust me, you don’t need the work. The same God that employed and brought you there can take care of you at the next assignment.

The question is, how do you know when it’s time to leave the church you’re serving, whether you’re a pastor, or leader, either paid or volunteer? Here are some suggestions.

It’s time to leave the church…

1. When you no longer love the people.
When you find yourself complaining about them more than praising them, it’s time to get out.

2. When you no longer love the city or the location you’re serving. The most sustaining factor any pastor has going for himself or herself is that they love where they’re serving – the town, the people. If you don’t love where you are serving, it’s time to find a place that you can.

3. If you find your speaking stale.
You’re finding it hard to be inspired about what to speak on. You have a great big Bible filled with 66 books and thousands of stories and illustrations, principles and applications that can be made. And yet with all that material, you feel dry and stuck.

4. When you find yourself wandering in your heart and mind about what might be out there for you.
We all do that some, but if you’re doing it almost exclusively, it’s time to launch out into the brave new world and see exactly what might be next.

5. If you stop believing in the people you’re serving alongside in leadership.
If you don’t believe in the people you’re serving alongside, they know it. You know it. And it’s time to make a change.

6. If the church you’re serving won’t take care of you financially
and your family is suffering over financial issues, it’s time to get out, even if you have to get a “real job.”

7. If you’re finding that you and your spouse are arguing more and more over the problems at the church
, rather than the joy of being a family, it’s time to get out of the boat.

34 Responses to “When Do You Know It’s Time to Leave Your Church?”

  1. tallguy January 25, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    I stumbled on your blog and I appreciate the suggestions.
    I’m an associate pastor at a church which is growing healthy at a steady pace. I love what is happening, I love the leaders, and I’m amazed at what God is doing.

    However, I’m struggling with a decision to leave or not. My role changes every six months; I’m known as the “go-to” guy. Now I’m asked to move into an area that I don’t enjoy, don’t want, and somewhat dread. It’s needed, and the pastor continuously tells me I’m “the man for the job”. I want to serve him because we need that ministry, but I’m dreading it.

    I have a potential offer from another church. I’ve been praying for weeks, but I don’t have peace either way. I don’t know all the particulars, especially the specific financial package. There are some things that would be a definite benefit.

    What should I do? Thanks.

    • dfoster January 25, 2010 at 10:23 am #

      If you don’t love it and you dread it, you are being set up for failure. The other things to consider is your family and how rooted they are.

      I would think twice about moving if my family is connected.

      Go to your pastor and be honest. Tell him what you can and can’t do. If that doesn’t work, ask for an exit strategy.

  2. rataman12 January 25, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    i have a couple of questions concerning this blog. I have been an unpaid staff member at a local mega church where i live. I have been promised a job with pay when they felt i was “ready” . I have offered many different jobs while being with this church, and when i talk to my pastor they always tell me the same thing, “we have a spot for you here”.

    I am struggling financially and dont know what to do. I love the vision of this church and the leadership but it is kind of hard for me to be motivated when all of this is going on. I feel like my leadership/speaking has take a huge hit.

    I feel bad being up the subject of money but i dont see anything coming my way by being an actual paid staff member. Again i love the church i guess i am having a bigger issue with the leadership structure.

    what do i do? thanks so much

  3. Pat January 25, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

    Good advice. I recently came to the conclusion that it’s time for me to move on or at least step out of my leadership role. Then I prayed and asked the Lord to confirm for me whether I was really to do this or not. I wanted to be sure that I was not functioning in my own thinking (although I’m fairly certain I haven’t been). But I just want to be sure that it’s Him and not purely me making the decision. I can say that since coming to this decision, I feel freer and can attend committee meetings and not feel burdened. About the only burden I feel is when I walk into the room to do the work from which I’ve already disconnected at an emotional level.

  4. Jeffj February 10, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    I just read your blog on this issue, and I’m interested to know if you consider a church move to simply be a matter of convenience or if you actually believe there are times to “stick it out”. In the day and age of faltering families and weak leadership, your advice would seem to line up with commitment levels of absentee fathers. Wouldn’t you agree that if the church is our family, and we are to love and stay committed to our family, then we should make sure we aren’t simply checking out because we don’t “love” the people or the place any longer. My philosophy is that I would never leave a church or a church family unless God was DEFINITELY LEADING me toward a new assignment. Actually, I believe you should never LEAVE a church. You should go to another assignment only as God leads not your emotions. Sorry, but I don’t think we need to contribute to the quick and comfortable consumerism that already exists in our churches by telling our leadership to leave if any of those items are true.

  5. Anne Lang Bundy February 23, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    For most of these issues, changing churches won’t fix the problem. If you can’t love people everywhere, how are you going to love them anywhere? If you can’t love your brother, how can you love God? If your speaking is stale, it’s time to move closer to God, not to another church.

    There is a time to change churches. Issues with church leadership might be one reason. Being at a church called to meet needs different that your own is another.

    But ultimately, the reason to change churches is because the Lord Himself says, “Get thee out to the place I will show you.”

    • Lisa Brown November 3, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

      I have to agree with that one…I’m in a situation where I serve as the person who puts the words on the screen(power point)..I’ve been serving and going here for about a year and a half…My husband does not like the church..But that’s not all..They are about to move into a new facility..This past service, the pastor said things that really bothered me…He told the congregation that they should expect to be “attacked” this week from the enemy…Not only expect it, but know that it gonna happen…You will be attacked so bad you won’t know what hit you”…..Now I understand attacks from the enemy, but he never explained to the church how to use the Scriptures to combat the enemy…That put a really bad taste in my mouth….its been things like that, thats telling me its probably time to exit…….

    • Pastor Pete June 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

      We certainly need to be sensitive to the Lord’s Leading, but it’s not as if He will send us a literal postcard instructing us to move on, or verbally whisper His next commission into our ears, etc. I have to graciously disagree with the premise that “most” of these issue won’t be fixed by changing churches. I understand what you are trying to say, but there is a very real wear and tear factor, a residual buildup after being in one place for a long time, which no amount of prayer and/or personal renewal can resolve. In these particular instances, the only answer is a change of environment. This stands true in many secular instances, and can most certainly be the case within the relam of ministry. And how do I know this? Well, after 23 years in the same ministry location, I am a witness to this very issue. I am absolutely certain that a future transition is critical due to this wear and tear factor within my own heart and mind. I take this to be the leading of the Lord, although such leading is composed of 90% common sense.

  6. STEVE June 3, 2010 at 5:08 am #

    Dave, I have been asking myself for the last 2 years if it is time for me to leave the church I have been pastoring for 12 years, the issue is I have a full time job in which I am on call 24/7, my wife and I do all the teaching, she is also the panio player, which wasn,t an issue for about 10 years but I find myself drained. As my wife puts it I am in the Valley of the dry Bones which is true. I have ask God for an ansrew and he seems to be quite on the matter. i have always felt that if God has called you to a church he is the one to say it is time to move on. I read over your questions but none of them seem to truly fit me. I am so dry I just want to go and hide for awhile, and get in touch with God again and I dont seem to be able to do that while i am pastoring, so any thoughtd would be great.

  7. annette June 14, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    My husband and I have been pastoring now for 15 years and in these last 6 years I have been emotionally spent. I think I want to move on, but I am connected to the position, not so much the people (so many have come and gone in these years I no longer connect to them – as it hurts my heart too much). This is a horrible position to be in, but that’s where I am at…

    • dfoster June 22, 2010 at 9:06 am #

      I understand where you’re coming from. anything Paula and I can do to help. If you want to talk. Call 615-281-9530.

      Hang in there and get some help. What you guys do is too important to not feel the joy!

  8. ReviveNow July 7, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    It seems a lot of minister families are facing very similar issues. I can relate to all the comments which are posted. I am a Senior Pastor who does most of everything. I considering as Pat to step out of the pastoral role into another church to get to know the church for two years prior to assuming the lead role upon his retirement.

    Steve said “I read over your questions but none of them seem to truly fit me. I am so dry I just want to go and hide for awhile, and get in touch with God again and I don’t seem to be able to do that while i am pastoring, so any thoughts would be great.” We decided to bring in a “fill-in” for two weeks while we attend a retreat. I found a very inexpensive pastoral retreat to “get alone with God and rest a while.”

    I very much want to follow Christ leading but He is quiet at the moment. Pray for us that we make the right decision as we will be in prayer for the ministers of Christ.

  9. generalironeagle July 12, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    I am an ordained minister and in a church on the worship team.I was brought on board to be the Worship Leader. Have been promised all kinds of things but have only been given just an occasional dry bone to gnaw on to keep me alive. I have always thought that if the people that I am around cannot love and accept me as the gift God made me to be, then they don’t need me and I don’t need them.
    I have to make myself go and I dread going.
    I love them but I am not fulfilled at all…. feel like I
    m staving to death slowly.I have a very good relationship with the Lord on a personal level but when I go to church it’s like the life is drained from me.
    Please pray for me.

  10. generalironeagle July 15, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    maybe I just need to change my bad attitude.

  11. Ryan Gear October 9, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    Thanks for your post. This can be a confusing issue, and your suggestions help to bring clarity.

    I especially agree with the “when you don’t believe in the people you’re serving with”. This is a painful sign but one that can’t be ignored. You’re right that they and you both know it.

  12. Brother Cool February 21, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    I have struggled with this for the past three years. I was the IT Director at my church, and one day I was told that my job was was being eliminated (due to financial prblems) and my duties were being given to the (at the time) Video Director. Over the course of the past years, the church has “forced out” many employees (pastors and support), telling them it’s purely financial. Yet they’ll hire a replacement. Like in my case, they hired a Campus A/V tech…who became the Director…the Video Director then became the New IT Director (a position I was told was being eliminated). I love my church family, and don’t want to leave. I almost have a feeling like I need to do something to encourage some of our current leadership to step down. I don’t want to leave or be a church hopper. I just want my church back.

    • Looking for answers December 24, 2012 at 6:20 am #

      Brother Cool–
      Where are you at now? Your post sounds like my life…”I just want my church back” sums up my experience…it’s been 3 years since I’ve been thinking about leaving…I feel like I’m grieving the loss of what was and will never be again…where are you at?

  13. Sis Lory March 21, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    Hi I love your post! I have been at a church now for almost a yeat and they have been going for 11 years now but there have been no growth etc. There is no departments in place eg children, youth, women, men’s etc. Soon as we joined we noticed the pastor and his family will be turning up late every sunday morning, the service starts at 11am, they turn up at 11h20. People have come and gone and my husband and I have been trying to give them ideas but it does not seemed to help. We feel so unhappy at the moment and have been praying about what we need to do. Can you advise? thanks

  14. Mukami April 22, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    This is a great post and even though I am not in a church structure I think this applies to any position- thank you Pastor Foster, it’s helped me find peace with a major decision that I have to make.

    • dfoster April 22, 2011 at 9:23 am #

      Thanks so much for your feedback!  It means allot and makes me want to
      work harder to provide stuff that helps you on your journey!

      God’s best!

  15. Deb May 8, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    I stumbled across this site in hopes to find answers to some hard questions. My husband’s family has been in our church for 4 generation and our immediate family for over 16 years. My husband is the finance committee chair and our family has been very involved in our church thru committees, choir, church activities. Our church was in transition w/o a pastor and they asked me to work as the manager of the church office. The previous pastor was at the end of her career and her area of expertise was not organization or abiding by guidelines set by our denomination (Methodist). So I came in to provide stability and organization in a time when there was none. I worked 60 hour weeks with 20 on the books for a 3 monh period prior to the arrival of our new pastor. She was selected by district and was fresh out of Princeton Seminary at 27 yrs of age. I’m 47 and relished the fact that a young pastor with techy savy was coming and a good match for me. I’ve worked hard in bringing the office up to the 21st century. All seems good, right? Not so. After about 9 months, she became increasingly confident, somewhat snooty, and made it increasingly difficult to work with her. She made it clear by her actions and words that my place was as her assistant not her counterpart in our church’s ministry. Long story short, I became resentful after 2 years of faithful service and said some foul things to her and resigned my position. I quickly realized that now was not the time to quit a job and I was reinstated briefly until I was approached with signing a letter of reprimand. Mind you, i was one sided and I refused to sign it in it’s present form. The pastor/parish committee chair told me the pastor has saved my job by intervening and that the committee wanted nothing to do with me. Also, when coming before the committee, they implied that maybe I should resort to using alcohol as a coping mechanis for my stress like most people. I’m appalled at their lack of professionalism and basically writing me off after 16 years. I then handed my resignation in to which they claimed they never implied those unethical remedies as well as stating I was not wanted. I don’t know what to do next. My sons are very involved i the church as well and although my husband and I are taking time off from the church, we are prepared to let them continue worshipping there until amends are made. I guess I’m waiting for an apology from the Pastor and hoping the church leaders will come to their senses and approach us. What do you think my family’s next move should be? Thank you so much for listenting.

    • dfoster July 22, 2011 at 11:04 am #

      Wow, I wish I could say that your experience is rare, but sadly its not.

      I would move on and find a fresh place of service. Life is to short to live in and with conflict.

      Trust that God can make a way to bigger, better things.

      About the apology? Don’t hold your breathe!

  16. Cathy June 28, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    My husband is a pastor of a small congregation of about 50. We arrived in this area last July. We came from another small church that drained us financially (we were paying church bills) and sucked the life out of us. When we moved here we put our 2 kids in public school from homeschool which really was God’s will. Our daughter will be a senior this year and our son an 8th grader. The problem is that none of us like going to our church! I want to be close to my family after the death of my youngest brother this past Oct. I am afraid the kids will not want to ever go back to church when they are on their own if we continue here. On the other hand we have concerns that our senior would have a difficult transition if we move any time soon. Also, the church board does not seem to care about us financially. They provide a parsonage and an old vehicle for my husband to drive and thats it. There have been personal attacks on us as a family too that my husband refuses to tell me some of them they are so bad. We really thought this was going to be a time of refreshing at this church and that God was going to work miracles here. We are so disappointed. Does it sound like its time to move on so early in this ministry?

    • dfoster July 15, 2011 at 9:05 am #

      Sounds like to me, you guys need a break to take care of you! I would step away and work on my family. I can’t preach to others and lose my own family.

      I think you both deserve better than this!

  17. kyle August 11, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    i am a young pastor of a group of about 40-50 people. i’ve been here for about 5yrs now. i was 27 when i first came here. it was mainly older people (60-80). the church was older style in music and look and everything. my style is more contemporary and i’ve brought a lot of that. so they’ve been good through some of it although it’s been very stressful pushing through some things. some left some gripe about it being loud, etc. the thing is it’s a college town and the average age is about 28 and we weren’t reaching any of them andn now we are starting to get more and more young families in and we actually have kids and a growing youth group. i led them through a name change to leave off the confusing denominational name and the music is mixed with more of a contemporary feel to it. (i know all of this is not the most important part of church, but just to show where we are and some things we’ve been able to do). i guess with all of that said i struggle more and more with wanting to leave. i know none of that above looks bad, but it’s the journey to get there and that i know some still gripe about it. there’s been good things happen, but now little things set me off about this one family that has been there the longest and has a say in everything. it’s not horrible things and they like us, but they eat at me. it’s the constant struggle with trying to get them to do anything and the getting people to change. change is so hard, but it’s necessary here and our finances at the church will be out in a year if they keep going like they are now. i see things that we could do, but only if people finally followed my lead and sacrificed with me. i say this not to get credit, but to show what we’ve been willing to do (after all you don’t know me so i can’t do it for that reason). we are selling our house to downsize into an old trailer so we can give up the majority of my salary and i’m going to give some of it to our worship guy, and then i’m looking to get an assoc/youth/backup guitar player, and then i’m going to use another chunk of it for outreach and ministries for the church. i don’t get paid very much anyway. i know i’m wrong for feeling that way and i see that as i’m writing this, but i get really frustrated with the lack of giving and participation from everyone else. i’m constatnly fighting against some of the older ones here on ministry styles and being myself. i feel bipolar–one day i’m excited to do something and think the church will take off and then next day i want to pick up and move. this is probably really bad but there are times when i get closer to the church and i feel some anxiety in my chest just getting close to it. i don’t know if i’m just being a baby and should suck it up and do ministry or if i’m wrong for staying here. again i don’t want to be one of those who puts emphasis on style and being contemporary and being the “cool church” because I think a lot of that and people and churches will have to answer to God one day. but my style is so much different than what i’m doing here and just don’t want to run away, but also want to be happy in ministry and not stressed and making my wife tired of hearing my frustrations with this church. anyway, i’ll figure it out, it just felt good to write out some things.

    • dfoster August 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

      Sounds like you are in an ill-fitting situation! These people may need an older man, retired from active ministry and who will not stir things up!

      You’re a young guy with dreams and visions of doing great things for God and people! Be free! Go spread your wings and do great things!

      Ask them to bless you as you go!

  18. mom September 9, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    I belong to a church that I am not happy in, I want to leave but at the same time i do not want to until I get God’s approval. I have issues with my Pastor. He deeply hurt me, he does not allow me to talk to him about what happened, b/c he has repented and moved on. I tried to confidently talk about the issue to one of the upcoming leaders and got severly rebuked for spreading lies and gossip, and coming against a pastor, which I was not doing. I feel choked, I do not want to leave my church b/c I love them, but I do not want to stay in a place where I am not allowed to ask questions, and where I cannot trust the leadership

  19. Micheal September 18, 2011 at 11:57 pm #

    I have been sr. pastor in a small town of about 13K people. My wife and I started the church 10 years ago. To financially survive we both are cosmetologists. I am attending the local college to hopefully one day get a position that will offer insurance. I read through list of your recommendations as to know when it might be time to leave. The people we attracted at first were people from Narcotics Anonymous. But as time went on I realized several of them had a hidden agenda for me to preach more of a Therapy centered message, a mixture in which “anything” could be your God. In the beginning I didn’t realize the dangers. In the Genesis of their stay they asked if they could rent out our facilities and I agreed. Four years later I asked them to move to a new location. Most had already left the church. Our church became known as the drug addict church. Though it’s true we accept anyone seeking Christ, the people that left did so leaving their mark “it seems’ upon us. I preach a Christ-centered message. When I asked this group to move to another location “something” hit the fan and they began to criticize me in our sanctuary after their meetings. They are gone now. Not that they were giving offerings that much at all, but since their departure our offerings have been cut in half. I’ve been pastoring for 20 years. Allot of what is preached here is a mixture of Catholocism, and in the Evangelical churches a blending of moralism, therapy and Dieism. I have a few good contacts with two pastors here but feel overwhelmed. My wife and I are very likable people. I think I’m past burn out. I love the people that have remained with us but I am dealing with a few shades of regret that I ever let these folks use our building. We were having to make up financially for what their $50 a month could not afford. It drained us. ANYWAY, I’m still excited to preach. I want our little fellowship to grow. I think the hemmoraging has stopped. So here’s my question? How do you think a church grows? Can the Gospel stand on its own 2 feet without a church having to merchandise it. There are good churches and great pastors here. But I have a good ear in my Salon and listen to allot of what get’s preached. How can a small- Christ centered church grow when a few of the bigger churches are seeker-sensative and they promote church growth with hype and the latest in technology? We have given much to the poor yet how do we advertise that we have given thousands of $’s to the poor in our area? A few other churches promote their buildings and the money they spend on paving their parking lots, it seems that people are more interested in the outside of the box than the inside. Christians in this town will condemn others for smoking and would never see that they may possibly be involved with making their buildings into idols. Young girls pregnant out of wedlock are routinely banished from the churches through subtle criticisms and disapproval. We have never advertised. How does a church advertise to let people know they offer something different without coming across as “the competition?’ I know only God can grow a church. However, the local Jehovah Witness church is cram packed? Can the Gospel be the only drawing point? I feel like I’m left holding the bag? Read into that what you will, but there are several odds against us here. That’s just what I feel. When to move? We really cannot move for many reasons. One being financially. We’d have to literally start all over with our salon clientel and suffer greatly. I have two teens and my oldest daughter did have a child out of wedlock. She and our beautiful grand daughter live with us and from the second we found out till now, we’ve only given heart felt support to them both. However, because our grandchild is mixed and from African American descent, my daughter suffered many cruel statements from “christians’ in this town. WERE STILL STANDING. We still love and preach Jesus unconditionally. Some of the folks that left I am persuaded had a very discriminatory attitude toward my family due to the pregnancy and for this reason they left the church. By the way most of them were the “N.A.” group. The very group that had came to us in the beginning indicating no other churches would accept them. It seems now they are the one’s rejecting. So, how do we live in a town that looks good on the outside. They throw their money to churches that are filled with upstanding christians but on the inside the Cross burns not in their hearts. Rather, a hybrid of christianity that only accepts and forgives if one meets their standard of moralism. What do I do my brother? Sincerely. My cell is 620-423-4901 and my code name is Juniper Tree.

  20. Annie November 14, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    HI,

    I was looking for answers to a problem I’m having in my current church (or maybe just someone who could empathize with what I’m going through) when I came upon your blog.

    The problem I’m having is that it seems like my church doesn’t what me to serve there. We’ve been back there for a year now. We attended the same church for 10 years previously, had been very active there (husband was an elder, I was on worship team, outreach, etc), but left over conflicts with the new pastor. No one else in the congregration knew the reasons why we had left. We were very tight lipped over it as to not cause waves in the congregation. A year later, the pastor suddenly quit, but we were already rooted in another church.

    To make a long story short, we returned to this church a year ago and were welcomed with open arms. They are like our family. Things have charges here a bit, though. The different areas of church ministry all seem very “clickish”. I thought it odd that no one had asked us where in the church we would like to serve, so, a few months ago, I reached out to the worship ministry, children’s ministry and fellowship and told that that I would like to serve there. I even talked to the new pastor a few weeks ago about it, but his response was “Well, your name has come up in discussions….” and that’s all that was said about it. Nothing has happened, ever since then.

    I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong, I don’t have a criminal record (not even a speeding ticket), and I haven’t offended anyone to keep me from serving (which would be a bad reason, in and of itself, to not allow anyone from serving). I have a passion to serve the Lord (and would actually love to serve him full-time), and considering I’m temporarily out of work, I have the time, too.

    *I’ve notices other good families leaving the church as well, but I don’t know their reasons why. (Everything seems hush-hush there, now. )

    Does this happen in some churches?

    I’ve only heard of churches that have difficulty finding enough people to help out, (we really don’t have enough helpers in our church either) never one that doesn’t actively plug people in… especially someone who has really approached the subject several times like I have.

    I’m thinking me and my family need to find another church, but my husband doesn’t want to. He’s not serving in any areas (Sunday attender), but all his friends are there and the kids are plugged in. He’s already told me that’s not an option.

    Thanks for hearing me out. If you have any advice or even if you’ve just heard of churches like this before, It’d be great to hear from ya about it.

    Thanks again,
    -Annie

  21. pcb November 18, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    I have pastored the youth program for 8 years at our church. Our church last year merged with another church and in that merger the Pastor of the network of churches meet with all off our leadership but myself and when I set up many appointments to meet with him he always seem too have an excuse to cancel. For whatever reason he however was able to meet with the rest of the elders and pastors of both churches my wife and I felt unappreciated and unimportant.

    Then a member of the church said she wanted to come on board and help so naturally I agreed and things went well for a little while. Pretty soon everything that I tried to do she would behind my back undermind. When that did not work she started back biting me to the network pastor. So then a meeting was called under the pretence that we were finally going to sit down and talk about his vision for the new church and what my wife and I’s vision was for the ministry to our young people was. When we meet we walked in to find that in this meeting there she was and one of her little minions my pastor and the network pastor. It basically became a bash fest of me and my wife and our ministry there. From that point forward it became a uphill battle to minister. So much so that the budget that we where promissed never came to be so in order to minister we started using our own funds. My wife became increasingly upset, I became burned out and asked for a meeting with my pastor and the elder board we asked for three months off. They did tell us that they would handle it until we felt called to come back but in our meeting with them they asked us to step down from our Pastorial positon and that they were thinking that we would soon be being promoted into an eldership position. To my wife and I this seemed more like a peace offering than a real opportunity for us so that they could appeaze one of the more affluent families in our church which hurts to know that money means more to our leadership than people who have served in this body for years. In that time my wife passed away from an inercranial hemmorage. I was approached by the lead pstor about two weeks after her passing and asked to come back and asked for more time as I felt that it was time for me to minister to my own family. Since then I have been praying for God to raise up someone to love these kids like I do. He did that thank you Jesus. The problem is that again instead of the leadership of our church coming to me I had to find out third hand. How do you keep loving a church body and leadership that continually hurt you. Now I know that we are to forgive and I have but everytime I seem to get to a good place something else has to hurt my family. I am really tired and now understand why so many families these days choose to do home churching. I know that the world hated Jesus but atleast he was loved by his followers. But do we have to be hated by other christians it is no wonder that the world does not want to come to church they get hated were they are so why bother getting up early Sunday morning to be treated poorly. I love the people in our body and the leadership of our church but am torn to weither or not is time to move on cause I feel a trust issue is at play here.

  22. Pastor Pete June 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    Good points to ponder. I would change the font color to something else though, as the bright green is very hard to read, not enough contrast, etc. The good news is that this doesn’t qualify as a legitimate reason to leave the ministry!

  23. Ken J. June 26, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Hi~!
    I need help and I need to find an answer!
    I’m Ken. I have an older brother Paul, whom has a huge heart to serve the LORD. He goes to church about 3 nights out of the week. There are worship team practices on Wednesday nights, fellowship on Friday nights and Sunday afternoon bible studies. On top of all these he works 60 hours a week in his own computer shop. He has two little boys under the age of four which his housewife takes care of everyday. Every time I see my brother he complains about his life, with no enough time on his own and his wife complains to him about not spending enough with the family. What’s the best way for me tell him that he needs to quite few of the church activities and save his marriage, I sense by the way he continues on this lifestyle that his wife will one day leave him. I also know that serving the LORD is the most important part of Christian life. He knows that too and he complains that his wife doesn’t understand him enough or GOD. Does God really want him to serve in church and not giving enough time for his own family?
    Does this apply to my brother?
    “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life”
    Matthew 19:29

    HELP ME~!
    God bless,
    Ken J.

  24. Looking for answers December 24, 2012 at 6:29 am #

    Dear pcb,
    Where are at now? I too am searching for answers as to when to leave our current church…trust in leadership is HUGE! I don’t trust the elders at all, I know too much about the true character of the pastors, etc…but I believe God can change men and turn church around…how long do I wait?

  25. Shaun June 5, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    What if you find yourself wanting to leave because of some of the reasons you mentioned, but your husband is telling you to deal with it & he’s not leaving & neither or the kids. I no longer have faith, trust or respect in for the Pastor because our ministry & personal relationship bled. I don’t want to be out of order, & leave without my husband.. But I feel like I’m dying there.

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