How Do You Leave A Church?

When you leave a church, is it better to leave in silence, or let people know how you feel?  I've seen both ways.  I saw a couple who were criticized after many years of service.  They calmly sought out another church and slowly backed away.  I saw another couple who, after joining another church near their future home, left after a year.  She was a bible study leader.  Every Sunday they just couldn't wait to let us know what their other church was doing, and how much better it was.  They left with a letter to the congregation that they wanted read in church.

Now, I believe to each his own and if you don't want to be at a church, fine, then go somewhere else.  But I have a problem with people who would want to damage the church just because it didn't fit into their belief system anymore.  Many times I felt a stirring to leave.  But I believe church does have its place in society.  It brings people to Christ that otherwise might not have been given the chance.  After that, it's up to you to find the truth.  And if you are really there to seek the truth you will find it, and probably move on.  If not, you will blindly follow those who deceive.  And they do deceive.

The people who left silently called me and invited me to their new church.  They heard I had left and wanted to offer us another choice.  I kindly let them know that I was going to be seeking a non-denominational church in the future.  The next door neighbors who wanted to tell everyone off.  Well, I stopped the letter from being read in church.  They broke my heart and I was in tears over how they wanted to hurt everyone there.  That is not what they preached.  I didn't speak to them for four years.  They never once came to find out what the problem was and for many years they would bring a Christmas present for my husband or child, never for me.  Many times I felt like taking the presents back to them but I didn't.   Just this year we started waving at each other.  They came at Christmas with presents for all.  But they also came with a sponsor letter in hand, looking for a handout.

As for me, I left in silence.  People who never bothered to acknowledge me or bring their children to worship with mine called and asked me not to leave.  I said "Why, there isnt even anything here for my child anymore?"  They admitted that their children went to church with their friends; but where did that leave mine.  Vaya con Dios.

silentwitness silentwitness
46-50
9 Responses Mar 6, 2010

I left a church in silence.

I have found that more lately I have been more sensitive when I become involved in a church....due in part to job loss, parenting and other factors. I feel that when you have a stressful time in your life, you feel that you should be able to turn to church for guidance and answers....I have been both let down and my feelings repeatedly hurt over and over. I am thankful that I have left a community group that was causing so much stress and grief.........my husband's 87 year old grandmother, told me to run the other way, after I told her countless encounters with this group. Well, I feel much better.....sometimes a bit of guilt that I have taken my family out of the local church....<br />
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...I am a firm believer to go with your feeling, if you are betrayed, hurt or feelings crushed...move on...there is a church for you...that you can call home.....after reading some of the above entries, I am amazed at how the churches sometimes judge or meddle...it should be an unconditional environment.

Only those who come to know God in Spirit and in Truth will gain the wisdom, knowledge and understanding to know that the only true church in this world are the parts of the body of Jesus Christ who follow only Him as their head And with that knowledge you will become of the few rather than he many if your heart acts on what God has given you. <br />
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Many and Few<br />
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1 Corinthians 2:14, Hebrews 5:13 and Matthew 7:13 are many.<br />
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1 Corinthians 2:13, Hebrews 5:14 and Matthew 7:14 are few.<br />
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God is not the author of confusion because only man is and always has been. 1 Corinthians 14:33, Jeremiah 3:25<br />
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So when God tells you this whole world has been deceived other than His few chosen, are you going to believe Him or man? <br />
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When God tells you that the doctrines and the traditions of man make His words of none effect in all the lives of those who listen to and associate themselves with, are you going to believe God or man?<br />
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Just keep on going to any of the buildings of man called churches who know not their Head and you will learn the hard way in the beginning of sorrows and the great tribulation that the bling leading the blind have led billions into as a ditch with no way out. . .and God even tells all in great detail what I have just shared will all who only God can have mercy on by what He can see in yur hearts. Hebrews 4:12-13, Romans 9:18<br />
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"Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Psalms 33:18-19<br />
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As a workman for God I only spread truth while leaving everything else in the hands of God because in this deceived world man can tell man nothing because only the Spirit of God can do that.

We are going through this just now. Our 22 year old son begin having substance abuse issues. We were helping him by getting him help but it was a very hard--still is--road. I had to step down as SS teacher of ages 4-7 because I was having to stay at home with him most of the time over about 3 1/2-4 months. We have SS elections in June and the new officers take their post the first of July. My husband has been the SS teacher for the married couple class for 12 years and they had asked him if he wanted it back. He had said yes and then about the second week in June the Preacher and 1 of the deacons went to my husbands work and took the class from him. I believe that they held us to blame for our son. We are devastated. I have been a part of the church since birth and a member for 30 years. My husband changed from the church he grew up in when we were married so he has been a member for 24 years. We have left silently and are now searching for a new church. It is very hard finding a church that we feel we both fit. But we are looking. We are leaving silently as a matter of fact we have had others get wind of the situation and say that they are going to quit. My husband has told them he does not want them to quit on account of us and we are leaving silently. We have not attended in over a month and no one has called or visited so I know we are not missed. We shall eventually find a good bible believing church and hopefully put this hurt behind us. We are leaving it in Gods hands.

My family left a church in silence. Sadly it took the leaders about a month to notice we were gone. Once they realized we had left or stopped attending, we got a call out of blue asking why. We gently and kindly voiced our opinion about our percieved difference. The pastor listened and encoraged us to please be opened minded and stay. Our conviction was Bible based and we could not stay. Guess what? It didn't change a thing. Didn't think it would. So we left in silence, but still voiced our concern in discretion with the appropriate people, when asked. <br />
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I have seen people overtly act out when leaving and they look foolish. They clearly do not reflect Christ when impulsivley acting without maturity and humility. When you leave a church, there are always things and lessons you take with you. Sometimes friends come with too.<br />
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Remember we are to preceive others greater than ourselves. To serve is a honor. And HIS WORD is your guide.

Two cents of wisdom worth a million.

One must ask themselves, who will benefit from the reading of the letter. It certainly isn't the people who wrote it, because they're gone. It isn't the congregation, because they are not fed up yet, so they more than likely will be blinded by the contents. So no one benefits. I believe that if you are choosing to leave a church, do one of 2 things. 1 write a letter to the teacher [ priest, rabbi, pastor] simply expressing why you can no longer attend that church. 2. Leave silently, because you know that the first one, will never have an affect on the teacher.<br />
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Regarding the presents, I would have said no keep them but thank you for your thoughts, and still invited them in for the celebration. These kind of people are not the kind of people that I would want to socialize with. I would also wave every time I saw her or their family out and about, showing that you are a better christian than they are. <br />
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We don't want people in our lives that act childish in this way. We want them to act as a child that shows their love for Christ and GOD, the smart way. <br />
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Just my 2 cents

It is very sad when people make others feel unwelcome at church. Curretly, my family and I are attending a church that has more political struggles within than we have ever seen. I am a member of a group within not only this church, but the church at large-- OK-it's the Knights of Columbus. I realize that we are supposed to perform acts of charity and goodwill in God's name, and not for recognition. Right now, I'm being pushed away because of politics. I was too successful with one of the programs I was running and got on someone's list. I once was very active in this group and in the church. Now, I'm drifting away.

It is very sad when people make others feel unwelcome at church. Curretly, my family and I are attending a church that has more political struggles within than we have ever seen. I am a member of a group within not only this church, but the church at large-- OK-it's the Knights of Columbus. I realize that we are supposed to perform acts of charity and goodwill in God's name, and not for recognition. Right now, I'm being pushed away because of politics. I was too successful with one of the programs I was running and got on someone's list. I once was very active in this group and in the church. Now, I'm drifting away.