Bad Reasons to Leave a Church


As a pastor, I never liked to see anyone leave the church I pastored.  It was very hard to not take it as a personal failure.  Yet I knew not everyone who attends my church will stay for the rest of their lives.  Sometimes God moves people on to serve elsewhere, or to be ministered to by another body of believers.  There are good reasons people leave churches, but there are also bad reasons.  I’ll mention a few of the bad ones so you aren’t tempted to follow them yourself.

I think every pastor has heard the excuse “I’m not being fed” used as a reason to leave a church – and in some cases it may be true.  But I’ve found that the person who uses this excuse usually has unrealistic expectations about what a church is to do for them.  Of course, they are to be fed God’s Word, but a healthy Christian will soon grow into a “self-feeder” and then an “other-feeder.”  Spiritual growth is based on the Word of God, but it doesn’t end there.  Someone who sees it as the church’s job to feed them will be disappointed in every church they attend.  We need to feed ourselves to grow, not just let a pastor study and regurgitate his food to us as our only source of nourishment.  “I’m not being fed” means “it’s your job to feed me” but that isn’t always the truth.  If you don’t think you’re being spiritually fed at your church, try reading the Bible yourself during the week.  Go over the passage the sermon was about the previous Sunday. Pray daily that God will speak to you through the teaching at church.  During the sermon or lesson, take notes.  That will help you focus and give you something to review later in the week.  Pray for the person speaking before and during the message.  If you do these things you’ll be amazed at how much your pastor improves!

Another poor reason for leaving is because “I don’t know anyone and no one knows me.”  True, some churches are more open and welcoming than others.  Maye you are going to a church where most people are introverts and don’t seem interested in meeting new people.  Or it could be the church seems too big to get to know others, or too small to offer a variety to choose from.  Don’t be too quick to leave because of that.  Look for ways to get involved in the church.  Introverts can become good, loyal friends when you initiate a relationship.  Perhaps God is putting you there to be just what the church needs – someone who reaches out to visitors, quiet people or anyone looking for friendship. Pray God would but someone in your life and look for ways to meet people.

As the pastor of a small church, people sometimes felt they need to leave because “You don’t offer ____ for me/my family.”  Quite often that was a children’s or youth program they were looking for.  Sometimes teens went to a separate church than their parents to be with their friends. I understand the importance of children and teens having their needs met at church, but I believe it’s more important for the family to go together and to be in the church God has for them no matter the programs or lack of them.  Unfortunately, many Christian’s shop for a church like a new pair of shoes or a winter coat.  They look for where they get the most for their money instead of seeking God’s will and listening to how He directs them.  If a church is lacking a program you feel you need, see if you or the church can start it, or go to another church just for that group meeting only.

If God has led you to you to your church (and you shouldn’t be there if He hasn’t) then leaving is a serious matter.  Don’t just leave out of boredom or because the grass seems greener somewhere else.  Don’t abandon a church going through a difficult time but stay and help unless God directs you to leave.  Sometimes he does want people to move and we’ll look at that in the next blog.  (February 10, 2024  Doylestown, PA)

Acts 2:42–47  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. …  All the believers were together and had everything in common. …  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

What are some of the things you like best about your church?

How has God used it in your life?

What can you to or pray to help your church this week?


Christian Training Organization

(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)

Copyright © 2024

Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View) Copyright ©1995-2024