So I’ve decided to blog about people vacating the church…like in disappearing! In my previous post I came to the conclusion that when you decide to check out of a church it is felt. Or as in my title, when a tree does fall in a forest, it makes a sound. Just because you’re not around to hear it doesn’t mean your absence has gone unnoticed.
Now before I go any further, please understand that I get that God moves his people around to various churches. He moved April and me around. So I get that. What I don’t get is why some people just vanish. It feels like they are afraid to tell the pastor that they are leaving – like let’s not hurt the pastor’s feelings. I don’t know how other pastors are with this, but I would rather that people be upfront with me. Tell me straight up that you’re leaving and WHY you’re leaving.
Okay, my intention is not to turn this into a rant. It’s not that. It’s just that if we say we’re Christians, then I think it would kind of a novel idea if we acted like it. So here are some tips on leaving…
#1 If you’re a leader, then please let your pastor or any pastor in the church know of your intentions…well ahead of time. And follow these steps – Step 1 – meet with your pastor. Step 2 – step down from your leadership position. Step 3 – If you’re a small group leader, then you should bring your overseer in and share with your group of your intentions. Remember, people are following you. Your pastor(s) have entrusted you with people that God has entrusted to them. You are accountable to your pastor…please honour them. If you just disappear, you leave a mess for your pastor and other leaders to clean up. Not fair!
#2 If you’ve been offended, hurt, snubbed…whatever, then first apply a little grace, mercy towards your other bro’s and sisters.
#3 Please do not use the ‘ol familiar phrase – “God is leading us, directing us, telling us to leave” – UNLESS of course he really is!
#4 If you insist that you must leave, and you have a grudge or hurt or some owwie with someone, then please get things cleared up with them. And that includes your pastor.
#5 – Leave with your blessing on the church. How to do this? A letter to the pastor would be the most appropriate.
# 6 – Vow not to talk poorly about your ‘ex’ in front of another prospective pastor or church member. Not cool!
At the end of the day, life happens and at times we need to move on. It’s not so much the moving on…it’s just how you go about doing it. I just want you to do it right.