If You Must Leave a Church

2. A doctrinal reason.

Here’s the bottom line: You must leave a church when a church requires you to deny what you believe or believe what you deny.

You have three responsibilities when it comes to faith:

(1) the duty to live by faith (Romans 14:23)

(2) the guarding of your conscience against sin (James 4:17)

(3) the command to test all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21-21).

Don’t treat doctrinal matters lightly. Truth and peace must be protected.

But to ignore truth in the name of people only produces a pseudo-peace.

3. A personal reason.

There are many personal reasons for leaving a church. The most common is relocation.

If you have moved to a different city, you need put yourself under the authority of a local church where you live. That was Phoebe’s situation (Romans 16:1-2).

Or your church can be so far from your where you live in the city that skipping church becomes a convenient excuse. These and other similar personal reasons are acceptable, sometimes necessary, reasons for leaving a church.

Yellow lights: How to leave a church.

How can you leave a local church in a Christ-honoring way?

1. Pray.

Important decisions should only be made after diligent prayer. Leaving a church is one such decision.

Pray about your motives, duty, and relationships. Pray to guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23). Pray for wisdom (James 1:5). Pray for submissiveness to God’s will (Colossians 1:9). Pray quietly.

That is, pray about it. Don’t talk about it. Loose talk about your unprocessed thoughts and feelings can sow discord.

2. Examine your motives.

Why do you want to leave? I am not talking about the politically correct reasons you tell others. I’m talking about the true motivations of your heart.

Do you even know them? Ask God to search you (Psalms 139:23-24). Then be honest with yourself. And be honest with God.

Be careful not to move for the wrong reasons.

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H.B. Charles, Jr.
H.B. Charles, Jr. is a pastor, speaker, and writer. He lives with his wife and children in Jacksonville (FL), where he serves as the Senior-Pastor of the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church.