When Is It Time to Quit? 10 Scenarios to Help Decide

How do you know when it’s time to leave an organization?

I recently wrote “Leave Before You Have To.” Sometimes it’s more damaging to stay than to quit.

I am asked frequently to help someone think through the decision of whether to stay or to leave their current position. Obviously, if God calls you to stay somewhere, you should stay, but many times, in my experience, we stay for the wrong reasons.

The following are some times to consider leaving. I think these may apply if you are in a church or business setting. This post is expanded from a post I wrote a few years ago. It developed from a conversation with a church staff member suffering under tremendously poor leadership and other questionable activities. I’ve continued to encounter situations where a person is wrestling with whether it’s time to leave their position.

Here are 10 scenarios that may indicate it’s time to leave:

1. When God has freed you from your commitment.

I believe God’s call is ultimately to the person of Christ, not to a place, but there are times God has us in a specific place for a specific season. You may only be a leader for a season. (Read about that HERE.)

If you sense God has released you to pursue other positions, it may soon be time to leave.

2. When your work is finished.

It could be that you’ve accomplished what you were sent to accomplish.

I once wrote about leaders needing a challenge to stay motivated. If you have become too comfortable, it may be a time God is preparing you for a change … a new challenge. (Read more of that thought HERE.)

3. When your heart has left the organization or its vision. 

Sometimes you need to re-energize your heart. If God hasn’t released you from the position, for example, then you have to find a way to make it work.

In many cases, however, you are freed to move elsewhere. You shouldn’t harm the organization by staying when you no longer have a heart for the mission. If you’ve quit having fun, don’t keep making life miserable for everyone else.

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Ron Edmondson
Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he's been helping churches grow vocationally for over 10 years.

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