Monday, July 18, 2016

Why leaving a church should be like buying condoms

I mentioned to someone today that leaving a church should be like buying condoms.

Oddly, they needed further explanation...
Perhaps you do to.

As I mentioned here, buying condoms should be something you're prepared to do while looking a human in the eye.

Why? Because using condoms is a mature action and one which you should be mature enough to be able to look someone in the eye and defend, especially if you're buying them for a good reason.

Leaving a church should, ideally, work the same way.

If you're leaving church for a good reason - you've changed life stages, you're stepping out into your own faith community, you're desiring to serve in a context which your church doesn't/can't provide, your church leadership is focusing on a theological (non-heretical) slant which you're not following, the church has cast a new vision/direction which you can't buy into, you're going on the man-hunt - then you should be prepared to have a face-to-face conversation with the church leadership.

It's a sign of maturity.

If you're leaving for a healthy reason, then it relieves those in leadership from thinking that they're solely to blame, and they deserve to be spared that anxiety.

Furthermore, if you leave well - giving clear reasons, wishing the church and its leadership well and promising not to bad-mouth the church - then you can depart as a friend, with their blessing.

And that, when it comes to church departures, is the perfect outcome.

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