Thursday, July 4, 2013

Earn your way out

Right now I'm on holidays so I've, naturally, been watching a lot more daytime TV than usual.

Consequently, my lunchtimes are occupied with my daughter, my wife (who is also on holidays) and Dr. Phil.

One reoccurring Dr. Phil-ism, when "counselling" a married couple who are in strife, is for the pair to "earn their way out."

For, Dr. Phil suggests, you need to scrape, scratch and claw your way out of a marriage.

If nothing else, before you call it a day on your partnership, you must commit to lengthy counseling.

I wonder, should we expect a similar thing when leaving a church?

If employed, you earn your way out by devoting every last moment in your position to ensuring things are in the best possible position for your departure. You have the required, even difficult, conversations. You help create a clear succession plan. You end well.

If you're a lay person who is pondering going to another church, then you earn your way out by, again, having a conversation. Strive to fix the problems when they arise and not just "leave it to the professionals." Look someone in the eye and tell those in leadership that you are a) leaving and b) your reasons why. Don't just drift away.

Now, life within the walls of a church are messy and the above might only be possible in an ideal situation, but...

If we stressed the importance of being in and committing to a church, then leaving that community should be a serious step which is only embarked upon once every stone is overturned and the work done to leave without regrets.

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