How do you know when it's time to leave a church? I understand the the Holy Spirit will tell you, but that doesn't mean that you will listen. What type of confirmations should we be looking for?

Thanks and God bless,
Jaime

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In the last year, I have visited others churches due to different events at our church that made me want to leave. It seems like every time I visited another church (not making this up), the sermon topic (unknown to me before I went) was something like: How to deal with offenses and love those around you, etc., or sowing seeds that can last, keeping your roots planted, etc. I had this strong notion that I was told to go back to my home church. Quite weird. Patience is the key my friend. I have none, but I know I need it.
The last church I was at before the one I attend now, I fought leaving for a couple of years - I wouldn't listen. The Lord had to allow some very difficult circumstances to come my way before I would finally leave. I was asked to step down out of ministry, replaced with someone else. I still remained for a while, until one day I went in to talk with the pastor the whole situation. One thing he said to me still remains with me today and I am almost certain that he doesn't remember the words he said. He told me that I needed to find a church where I could be fed. I knew the moment he said it that the Lord was saying, "Ok, it is now time for you to leave." I was totally broken in spirit (not the broken like in surrendering but hurt and disillusioned) and I finally was able to let go and follow the Lord's leading to find the church I now attend.

There is more to that story but that would be a totally different topic I suppose.
For myself, I'd be more worried about "hearing" things that are masquerading as the Spirit's voice than hearing and ignoring. That being said, there may be value in putting out some fleeces ala Gideon. If you're not sure, ask for a sign one way or the other. (Hope I'm not sounding trite here...it can be a wrenching decision either way.)
Yeah, I agree. In my sitaution I knew that I needed to leave but wouldn't. I wasn't growing, I wasn't truly being ministered to but I still wouldn't budge. God had a plan for me to bring me to a new level in Him and to continue the healing work in my life but my not listening was keeping that from happening. When I finally surrendered to the Lord and left as He told me, it was then that the healing began to flow in my life and old scars and emotional wounds began to be healed.

I also agree about putting out the fleeces like Gideon did. We all want confirmation that we hear from the Lord and I don't believe that it is necessarily a lack of faith for asking for confirmation either. I believe it brings assurance to us that we did hear Him as well as it building up our faith.
Jerry - thanks for sharing. I'm not quite ready to turn in my keys to the sanctuary yet, but a couple weeks ago I asked for a sign regarding the band, and I got six or seven of them that morning...

Charles
Hi,

The question I would ask you is why has this come up? That in itself can tell you a lot.

I recently was thinking about leaving my church but I realised that satan also likes to remove us from the place we are to receive what God has for us. I cannot go just by feeling.

I would say that when considering leaving a church you need to look at the reasons why it has come up, check your own heart, what do you know about what God wants to do in your life generally? Has someone offended you and you don;t know how to to or don;t want to sort it out. Are you bored?

Looking at these kind of areas makes it easier to know if this is a God moment or a feelings related thing. Then it depends on whether you go by feelings or purposefully walking the path God has for you.

Hope I haven't confused you!?

Let me know how it goes

Peace

Jo
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I agree. Often in forums like this we tend to generalize, but these types of questions are coming from specific situations or life experiences. I would suggest being cautious when considering such things.

I've known people who have legitimately been called out of one place and into another, but I have found that when the Holy Spirit is the one doing the moving He makes it quite clear (at least to an external observer).

I've also seen people leave somewhere they were planted for minor disagreements, and again it was quite clear when God wasn't in the move (again, to an external observer). One symptom of this can be holding the opinions of someone who is not in spiritual authority over you (or who you don't know at all) in higher esteem than your own pastor and leadership. (Particularly if they are offended, have recently left, etc...)

Not to sound like a broken record, but I would pray about this - make sure its not an attack on the unity of the body of Christ...
Hi Jo,
That was great advice you gave to Jaime. You have very good wisedom

John
One thing to be careful about is getting the sense that you are "not being fed." That may be the case, but perhaps you need to be fed by serving others in your church. On the other hand, you may already be serving too much and you need to step back a little to allow more time for you to connect to God. If you are having doubts, I suggest you speak with your pastor. Don't be critical, just let him know that you are having these thoughts and ask for advice.

My wife and I left a church a year and a half ago that we had been a big part of for over five years. It was very difficult, but we knew for sure it was time. We are now happier than ever and our kids are too. We visited about a dozen churches before we found one we all knew was the right one though so be patient and prayerful.
Hmmm.... That's funny you asked brother. I've been talkin' with my wife over this the past couple weeks. I recently am "taking a break" from my church band because of my work schedule and a little bit of politics happening within the band. I do not feel like I am fed at my church right now and this is what I'm struggling with. It's been kinda weird worshipping with the rest of the concgregation during Sunday services.

I've visited a new church down the street and loved it. I've met this church's pastor and a few members who I regularly see at my local gym. The praise band is amazing and the church is huge on fellowship / small groups. My church band do not fellowship as a band and I've attempted many times to do devotions and prayers when I was playing with them but there was always a struggle - kind of a resistace from a few. All we did was practice once a week and play on Sunday services. Nothing else.

So, really, I'm struggling with this thought. Should I ? I'm asking my wife and a few for prayers. I need God to give me signs. I need all your opinions on this. I guess I need advice. So Jaime, I can't answer your forum question right now cuz I'm in this weird situation. God bless! ron
Let me give you my take on leaving, whether it's a church, or a job, or whatever...

"You shall go out with joy, and be led forth in peace" (Isaiah 54, somewhere near the end of the chapter).

In other words, if you want to leave because you're offended, that's probably not of God. If you want to leave because of conflicts, that's not of God. (It's different if you are driven out, but that's another story). If you believe God's telling you to go, are you willing to settle all accounts, to release and RECEIVE forgiveness first before you head out the door?

Comments, anyone?
Yeah - much wisdom there Junjie.
I've only moved church once and that was nearly twenty five years ago! I think it was the leader of the church that I left that helped me to come to my decision and I was able to speak to him about it before I went.

For me I didn't have any particular relationship difficulties but had a growing feeling that I didn't really belong there. The leader and I were chatting once and he talked about a vision for the church and I fairly immediately realised that this was a key issue for me. I couldn't really share in the vision of that church, I wasn't sure what we were trying to build (and I don't mean the physical building). I visited another church in our town and found out what they stood for, what their doctrines were, how they felt a church should be organised/run/goveerned and where they felt they were going. I found I could identify pretty well with all of these and felt they were pretty close to what I understood scripture to be saying. So in due course I moved. For me it was the right choice. All these years later having been through good times and band I still know it to be the right place for me and would anticipate that the only reason I'd now leave would if the Lord called me to a new location.

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