Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Leaving a Church Well

Last week, I reflected a bit upon this article in a FB post. Since many are understandably avoiding that platform, I copy my thoughts below. May the Lord use it to bless His church.

During this past year, many folks had extended seasons of visiting with us, and often arrived completely fed up with their home church. We urged all of them only to assemble with us so long as it helped them keep their current membership vows, and to "go back" as soon as possible in good conscience. 

Some developed convictions in their time with us that made going back impossible; others thought they had, but were able to overcome the difficulty by adhering to godly principles. These last did not increase our membership, but they felt like the biggest spiritual "wins."

So, one thing I would add to this article: engage your elders to guide you through identifying the congregation to which to transfer. 

Not every Session will do this, but many will. It is, after all, how Jesus shepherds you, and what Jesus has called them to do. You may even find that working together with them enables you to continue keeping your vows where you are; Sessions grow; members grow. If you can't bring yourself even to ask, this probably says more about you than about them. 

And not only will working together on this edify both of you, but when it comes time for them to commend you to another congregation and Session, they will be much more enabled to do so with a good will. And when you have opportunity to visit back, you will not have burned your bridges.