No one I know likes to make hard decisions, whether it be about someones life resting in their hands or deciding to leave a church for another. While at first glance it may not appear to be on the same level they both are extremely difficult. One has to do with physical life while the other has to do with the spiritual.
I bring this up because recently I have had to make that hard call to leave a church. There were many things that influenced my decision and most all of them were non-personal to anyone in particular. I believe that when you are apart of a church you should be apart of that community of people that surround it (in a reasonable proximity). We weren’t reasonably close to our church, which made it difficult to participate in church events.
My oldest son is getting to the age where I would like for him to make friends at church and be part of the youth program, if we were to do that at our old church it would require us putting close to 100 miles in one day on our car or spending all day on that end of town. Which would require money to eat and figuring out what to do for hours between events.
With us being so far away it was difficult to cultivate relationships in the church that were of any significance, because most of the people who attended the church were rather close to it (at least half the distance of where we were). However, there are a few people from that church that will be sorely missed because they invested not only in us but also to our trip to Haiti. For that they will always hold a special place in my heart. There is one person in particular who was a great encouragement to me on my journey to be coming a pastor, and her confidence in me I will always appreciate.
I honestly believe that we were almost invisible in our previous church except to a very select few members. The church is not about us and we know that but there has been no real contact or concern shown that we have not returned. I will say there have been one or two people like the lady mentioned earlier for her support have shown concern for us and our leaving. Apart from that no-one has seemed to realize we are gone. We want to make an impact for Christ in His church so we have real connections and people show real concern when they don’t see you for a while. At least a one or two.
We have started to attend a church that is a lot closer and I guess you could say I am little more theologically inline with. Our old church is not heretical by any means, there are however secondary issues I do not fully agree with and fall more inline with this new church in some of those areas.
It is a hard call to choose to leave a church because you are supposed to be like a family. I tried everything I could think of to serve the people there and to love them with a Christlike love. I just think for the good of the church and me it was best for us to go our separate ways. While not everyone would agree with me, it is my call for me and my family and I must do what I think is best.
Question: What has been the hardest decision you have had to make?