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 ...1