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Joined: 2010/5/6
Posts: 8
Lexington, KY

 When is it time to leave?

Hi. It's been some time since I've posted. Still very much in love with the Savior and still very much in the word. My question is essentially formed from a need to vent a bit to some place where I can be candid without the fear of reprisal.
I'm an associate pastor, I'm on sabbatical and have been for 2 years. At the time I felt I needed to step down. No moral failure, I had just graduated college and was in the midst of starting a new career, building a home (myself) and we were having our 4th child. So i needed to take a hand off for a while. The sabbatical was offered so I took it to sort of "try it out" before fully committing to my decision.
There were further reasons for my wanting to step aside. I have been with the church that I am in for nearly 20 years, I started when I was just saved around the age of 18. I love my pastor and I love the people of the congregation. However, it is a strongly charismatic church and has heavy leanings toward the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation). At the beginning I didn't have much worry.
Yet as I have continued to grow over the course of the past 10 years there's been an ever widening discontent with much of the doctrine. I still love the people, I just have a hard time accepting modern apostles, prophets and the while health and wealth dumpster fire.
I've continued to minister on occasion and for the most part preach expositorally. I have subtly rebuked as well as sternly rebuked the idea of WOF doctrine, but it seems no one is listening as it is generally reinforced by the senior leadership, deacons and elders.
I feel disingenuous by continuing to stay, but I can't seem to find the proper way to leave.
I guess I'm just asking if anyone else has had a similar experience and if so what advice would you lend to me? Sorry for the length. I just really needed to get this off my chest. Thanks! God Bless!


 2017/7/18 19:19Profile

Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 3325

 Re: When is it time to leave?

Brother Dave, i'm not a pastor, but i've been in your shoes with my last church. I know this is not the answer you may be looking for, but there are thousands of churches all over this country, you just have to pray God will lead you to the one that ministers to you. Currently, i'm home churching, and the Lord is my shepherd/pastor and it's working for me, I Love it! I've never had the relationship I have now with the Lord in any church before now. A lot of churches have become businesses these days, and businesses have to cater to their customers to stay in business, right? There is one out there somewhere for you, but if not, a home church can be a temporary reprieve, or maybe even permanent as it was for me.


 2017/7/18 20:35Profile

Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132

 Re: When is it time to leave?

Amos 3:3 can two walk together except they be agreed.

When it comes to fellowship I pick my battles on doctrine wisely, but leadership is a different story. We are called to peace and Jesus spoke of the wheat and tares, that's a principle that needs applied when you are in leadership. Your actions can cause great harm and if the doctrine you hold to is counter to the doctrine that the fellowship you attend holds to , for the sake of those not grounded in Christ I might be inclined to quietly start seeking another fellowship with more like minded peoples. The problem will come in when friends of your family start to question why you left, this is where you need to exercise great restraint and wisdom and be really vague in order not to cause any schisms in that local fellowship.

It would probably be safe to approach the Senior pastor and talk with him and express plainly what you are going through and that way all things are decent and in order and a door will always be open to you and your family within that fellowship. I am not really up on the doctrines in the NAR but I would have to believe that the bounds of Christ and the friendships you and your family has forged with that fellowship over the years will allow for you to come and go freely with the full blessing of that leadership.

Just remember the wisdom from above is first of all peaceful, next easy to be understood, FULL of GOOD fruits of, can read it for yourself, Than just follow the Lord Jesus into next things. God Bless Bro DMiller


 2017/7/18 22:06Profile

Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3426
This world is not my home anymore.

 Re: When is it time to leave?

Brother, this is not advice, it's just what happened to me. I stayed at a church in the early 2000's because of the very people I loved when I should have left a year and a half earlier. And I didn't go to church for 10 years.

I hope you find a place that will love you and your family. If not, do what Bill said, have church at home with your family. Teach your children by example to worship and teach what you want them to know about your God and that they will know Him! (Perhaps everyone can take turns teaching!!??)

It's just a thought. I wish you and your family well on new adventure with the Lord!! It's going to be awesome!

God bless,


 2017/7/19 12:17Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2010
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: When is it time to leave?

Bro. I understand how you feel. My wife and I have been moved around the body several times before landing at the place we are at now. We experienced a very similar situation as you. We were in eldership in a body that began to veer off course. God began to give me dreams about the situation in which I woke suddenly with the interpretation heavy in my heart. I had to approach the pastor with these dreams and it was not received well, although after we left the situation played out exactly as the Lord had showed me and the church folded. It was hard to leave. We had grown to love the people so much.

At the time this move was very traumatic. We struggled with it, and it was hard. But now, looking back on things, I cannot see any way that we could get to where we are at now without going through what we went through.

I guess I am saying this. God will put you in certain situations for your good, to grow you, mature you, and cause you to learn what He desires for you to learn. But those situations are not permanent. He takes us through step one because He is preparing us for step 2.

I am not sure anyone on the forum can tell you whether you should leave or stay. But I can say that God will speak to you clearly if you really want to hear Him and be obedient to whatever He tells you. Perhaps this is a time to draw near to Him personally. Perhaps this is a time to seek to know Him more than you ever have before and trust that He has the situation under control and will give you the right direction at the right time.

Bless you brother.


 2017/7/19 13:11Profile

Joined: 2016/8/10
Posts: 242


I guess I am saying this. God will put you in certain situations for your good, to grow you, mature you, and cause you to learn what He desires for you to learn. But those situations are not permanent. He takes us through step one because He is preparing us for step 2.

I think this is the reason why God told Jeremiah to go to Euphrates and hide the girdle in the hole of a rock. I thought yesterday... "Why should he do that? Euphrates is quite far away from Israel. Could not God just say to Jeremiah what He wanted to? Why the effort?!" But as you said, sometimes God brings us through certain situations so that He may teach us a lesson.

Otherwise, I don't have any answer for you, Dave. May the Lord lead you!

 2017/7/19 17:23Profile

Joined: 2011/4/19
Posts: 169
Southern CA

 Re: When is it time to leave?

Thanks for sharing and opening up your life brother. My wife and I shared in a similar situation also. We stayed at a fellowship for about 5 years waiting, praying and being in the persuasion that it was our time to go. We were torn, between loving the people and the convictions we held.

Here are some practical tips I can share with you:

You can't fix the church, reform the doctrine or change people's hearts.

The less people that know you are discontent, the better. Keep your burdens close and don't vent your feelings to others.

Speak well of leadership publicly so your motives won't be confused.

If you think the Lord is leading you to leave, don't make the departure about your convictions. Make it peaceable, make it about your personal journey and not "what you see wrong".

Don't let fear be your guide or your motive. If you only stay because of fear, that is not God's will.

Consider your family before your friendships. Do you want to raise your family in this church? Do you want to be in the same place in 10 years?

God will provide new friends and a sphere of fellowship. We took a step of faith, and the "Lord has surrounded us with the righteous" - Psalm 142:7

If you can't worship, thrive, grow in Christ it's time to go where you and your family can.

God gives us convictions so we will act on them, not swallow them back.

You're not "leaving the church". You and your family ARE the church.

Jesus will be with you WHEREVER you go, not just bless you at this one body.

You might be quenching God's plan for your life and this church by staying. God can move most when we surrender.


Brother Kevin

 2017/7/20 11:00Profile

Joined: 2016/11/15
Posts: 264

 Re: When is it time to leave?

Dear Brother,

There is wisdom in the counsel of many but in the end it is the still small Voice giving you the Word as well as the peace that passes understanding.

Other ways God may use to speak:

-You are fired or told to leave

-The ones you are ministering with reject scripture and sound doctrine

-You are backsliding because of compromise

-God is leading you in a new direction and you are hearing "Come follow me" or "GO"!

Only you, and as the head of your family your authority in Christ and under Christ are able to discern what the Lord is saying to you and your family.

Just another sister who trusts God to guide and lead through difficult times as well as good 😊 May He lead you in His Perfect Peace,

Sister L

L Young

 2017/7/20 11:40Profile

Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3612

 Re: When is it time to leave?

"There is wisdom in the counsel of many but in the end it is the still small Voice giving you the Word as well as the peace that passes understanding".

"I am not sure anyone on the forum can tell you whether you should leave or stay. But I can say that God will speak to you clearly if you really want to hear Him and be obedient to whatever He tells you."

Brother Dave,

The Holy Spirit will lead you by that inner witness within you, and you will not only know what to do, but you will know when to do it.

I have missed God's will for my life in different situations by listening to men or giving in to self will, but I have never been led astray when I have asked God to show me His will, and have allowed the Holy Spirit to speak to me, often through His Word. He does speak through brothers and sisters, but they will only confirm what the Spirit is leading you to do.


 2017/7/20 22:54Profile

 Re: When is it time to leave?

Brother Dave,

As one who has been through something similar and knows others who have been too, my advice is to go back and preach the truth as you know it and let them ask you to leave. You say you know and love many of them, then speak the truth in love and let the chips fall where they may. It may not be personally pleasant but the greatest harvest, I believe, in America, are sitting in pews every Sunday. A great many lies have flooded into the body through the charismatics ( I am a Pentecostal for lack of a better phrase) word of faith, name it and claim it, health and wealth, rolling around the floors roaring like lions, laughter and so on.

If you go back and simply speak the truth as you have opportunity to speak then the Lord will use you no doubt and the enemy will come against you know doubt and your time may be short no doubt and it may be painful for your family no doubt, but this is so often the cost, the lonely walk, that the saint has to traverse. Having said all that, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit brother, as the others have said, it is good to seek advice but in the end we have to make choices...................bro Frank

 2017/7/21 0:13

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