- "This is not to suggest that these are the only circumstances under which people are permitted to leave a church. There is certainly nothing wrong with moving one’s membership just because another church offers better teaching or more opportunities for growth and service. But those who transfer their membership for such reasons ought to take extreme care not to sow discord or division in the church they are leaving. And such moves ought to be made sparingly. Membership in a church is a commitment that ought to be taken seriously. John MacArthur, JR."
I am speaking from the viewpoint of a minister/pastor/christian worker for over forty years.
I never wanted to leave my first church where I was a member. My dad's church. But he died in 1966, and the church was in such disarray that our family had little choice in the matter of leaving the church. (I really don't remember the details) We joined another church in town for about three months. My mother was offered a church position as the pastor's secretary in Danville, Virginia. Our family moved to Danville. I moved to Arlington, Texas to Seminary.
Upon arriving in Seminary, I wanted to find a church where I could pick up doing what I had being doing for twenty-seven months, being a Youth Pastor. Yet the churches I attended were not in favor of that. Thus I left the church to search for a place of service. Churches that I joined were churches that would allow me to serve in the church, not just come and sit.
The problem with us who are preachers is that we are not usually welcome in other churches. And often when we are invited to come and serve in the church, it doesn't take long, in my case for the people to really like me, and the pastor doesn't like that, and he will ask me to leave.
Generally there are problems that occur in churches that leave us with no choice but to leave. Generally I have really never wanted to leave a church in which I was serving as Pastor, or Youth Pastor, or having a position in the Church. Various problems will occur and you find yourself on the outside, and you have no choice but to leave. That has never been my first choice.
There have been several times, in which I felt there were better choices to serve than in the church I was serving. Those choices at the time seemed good, but was not necessarily the best choice to make.
Pastors, Associate Pastors, and Youth Pastors are often asked to leave the position. You thus have no choice but to leave. A few years ago I was removed from my position and asked to leave the church. The people didn't like that, and I stayed for a few weeks; but the Pastor made it clear he wanted me to leave.
Finally, I have been in a church for almost four years, and have desired to serve the church, within my spiritual giftedness, and for four years that has not been possible. While I was led to believe, if the Lord's will, I would be able serve in some area of ministry. When I confronted the pastoral leadership about this, they created a position, in which they said it most likely will fail and by the end of the year, I was removed from the position. THE TIME TO EXIT HAS COME.
Of course the people didn't fully understand, as generally is the case, and the pastoral leadership so shapes the events, that it always looks like it's in the best interest of the church that the position is removed. In this case I was not asked to leave the church, but was informed that my service in the area of preaching and teaching was not going to be needed.
IT WAS TIME TO EXIT.
Few pastors are really looking for another pastor/teacher to come to their church and serve in any way that would include preaching or teaching. Especially those who have experience, have pastored before and are seasoned in their position. Pastors are usually looking for someone who they can control and train in their likeness.
One church I was in this month, the pastor said, "For those who want to preach in this pulpit, we are starting a class for them, so they will know how we want them to preach for us."
THE TIME TO EXIT A CHURCH sometimes is not by your personal choice, but the choice is made by the leadership of the church.