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Do You Have A 90-Day Plan To Leave Your Church?

One of our most read and commented posts on this site is How To Leave Your Church - And Do It Well!

It has struck a chord with so many people because many have felt trapped in unhealthy or spiritually abusive churches. They know they've needed to move on, but the church hasn't provided that freedom (i.e. spiritual abuse, heavy handed leadership, control).  At Ministry Best Practices, we've tried to provide advise that will honor God and His church, at the same time give people the freedom to find a spiritually healthy place to worship and serve.

Recently I received a comment from a reader named "George" and he provided some helpful advise from his recent experience having to leave his church. Here is what he said below:
This year, I left my church due to heavy-handed leadership issues. I would recommend people start their 90-day exit plan now.
1. Find a new church FIRST by asking other people who left years ago where they are now. 
2. Set a meeting with the pastor at the new church you wish to attend. Ask how you can fit in. Explain the ministries you've been part of and ask if they need your help.

3. If you are a volunteer, find someone to take your place at the old church. If you run a ministry, shut it down during a logical time (Summer, or at the end of the curriculum or end of month or year).

4. Quietly disappear. Don't confront leadership, especially if they are heavy-handed. They will try to meet with you but that's only to bully your, or failing to do that they will pretend to take your comments to heart, but will actually start marginalizing and backstabbing you. It's best to just slip out the back door, and enjoy your new life and ministry.
I wasted 2 years of ministry time at my church trying to make the pastors sensitive to certain issues. I should have gone to another church that had the same vision that God had given me. I could have ministered to dozens more people had I left earlier.

Blessings to you, George
Would you add anything to George's comments and thoughts?


What about when you are in a small church, wearing lots of hats? There is no such thing as leaving quietly. There are a lot of positions that would need replacements and quickly.

True, being in a small church provides a unique problem and challenge...I think leaving quietly doesn't necessarily just mean that you'll go unnoticed, but it also mean going quietly in regards to other words, it is important not to unnecessarily draw a lot of attention to your departure or cause a big dust up and stir over it. Do so with as much humility and grace as possible.

I think one has to be very cautious in leaving a small church especially if you are very involved in leadership and have a good relationship with your members. Maybe you could use your time plan (90 days or otherwise) to train others in areas for which you were responsible - but in a manner that would not provoke suspicion that you are 'packing up'. Every good leader should produce offspring(s) that may replace them. That way you would not leave a great void or confusion, and your minister would be left with some options. Also, one must be willing to seek God's direction and wait patiently for it as the right timing is critical. There is also the risk of overcompensating by putting your all into the ministry prior to leaving and thereby building up the dependency and expectations of others. This could cause major hurts when you eventually leave. So pray much, listen much and bear in mind that you do not want to hurt the people you care for and have shared fellowship with over the period you were there.

Hope u will again share with us.

I went back to my home church which is a small church. I'm very active here and my roles sometime may be that of a "leadership" role. I've been back for about three years, but I'm ready to go back to where I left. Well, when I was first at my home church, I was in it but not of it. After a devastation, our home church had not rebuild, therefore, we joined another church and that's when a new life began for me. Both churches believe in the same doctrine, but the teaching is different and there's more at the church I left. I'm ready to go, but fear hurting the church I'm at. I hurt the church I left and now it's like I have to do the same thing again, but to another church. I'm not a church hopper, I just don't feel as though my home church is no longer my home. It may sound crazy, but I want to go back home, and this is the church I joined before I went back to my actually home church. I just don't know how to do. Then I keep seeking advice from this one and that one and some say come back, some say don't and some say people are going to be saying this and saying that. I'm really seeking God on this issue.

To leave the church you need some great ideas, it is a really hard thing to do. You have described it well those tips are really helpful.

Thanks George. A lot of people don't know this secret, but worse off, they don't understand the repercussions associated with not following these simple steps. As a worldwide speaker and expert in the subject of Loyalty and Disloyalty, and Church Growth principles, Dag Heward-Mills in his book "Those Who Leave You" expounds on various characters that leave the church and how to deal with them. He also sheds light on how one can leave without attracting curses on their lives. Get it and be blessed! :)

I want to leave my Church because my Pastor complains about everything If I do as a worker of the Church, he want other people to take charge because they believe they can do a better job than I can I don't feel as if he should have asked me to step down in front of the congregation, before confronting me first.

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