Jump directly to the Content


When have you accomplished as much as you're going to? Here are ten questions to help you decide.

This article and "Why I've Stayed" form a pair, presenting two distinct approaches to the question: When is it time for me to leave my church? Here, church consultant and former pastor Gary McIntosh outlines some practical, technical considerations. Next, a Texas pastor who has served the same church for fifteen years shares his considerations in staying.

A phone call I received last week left me a little numb. For eleven years a close friend had enjoyed an effective pastoral ministry before taking a more challenging, growing church in Colorado. He called to say he had just resigned after barely a year at the new church.

As we talked I remembered times I had wrestled with the decision to leave a church. Opportunities that had seemed so promising when they began, matches so perfect . . .

Deciding to leave is often, if not always, filled with lingering doubts, self-criticisms, and the pain of unfulfilled dreams. I reminded myself that pastors leave churches all the time. Despite recent studies ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Despite their tarrished reputations, ministerial gatherings present golden opportunities for more than coffee and competition.
From the Magazine
Who Will Pay Africa’s Medical Bills?
Who Will Pay Africa’s Medical Bills?
Locals are increasingly running African mission hospitals. The next challenge: keeping foreign donors.
Editor's Pick
When Churches Put Love at the Center
When Churches Put Love at the Center
How "beloved community" helps us envision tangible ways to embody kingdom values.