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Top 10 Signs It’s Time for You to Leave Your Church

Family considerations.

8. It would be in the best interest of your family to leave. 

The present ministry may be a toxic environment for your family; they are your primary flock needing protection.

Another consideration is that there are seasons in children’s lives that are more conducive to moving—such as sixth grade or ninth grade.

There are also seasons in your parents’ lives when they need you. I know a minister who moved from Arizona to Kentucky because his elderly parents were ill and had no support.  

9. Close friends support the idea.

Most friends don’t initially tell you the whole truth. “No! Definitely not! Don’t even think of leaving!” they will insist. But after they think it over and pray about it, good friends who have their finger on the pulse of the congregation may admit, “You know, for your sake it may be best. We would be really disappointed, but you’ve got to do what’s right.”

Such honest counsel is significant.

10. A sustained, undeniable leading of the Holy Spirit into a new ministry.  

This is not a “flash in the pan” feeling stemming from hurt feelings or temporary discouragement, but a prolonged inner prodding that won’t go away. You have prayed and sought God’s guidance and sense that it is indeed time to go.

This is when we must believe God’s promise in Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”  

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At just twenty-two years of age, Bob became the pastor of Southeast Christian Church. That small congregation of 120 members became one of the largest churches in America, with 18,000 people attending the four worship services every weekend in 2006 when Bob retired. Now through Bob Russell Ministries, Bob continues to preach at churches & conferences throughout the United States, provide guidance for church leadership, mentor other ministers and author Bible study videos for use in small groups.