When Not to Leave

Pastors may need to leave a bad situation. But it's possible to leave at the wrong time. Don't leave …

  1. When you're not in unity with those close to you. A pastor friend recently was invited to become pastor of a church twice the size of his own. He was inclined to accept, but his wife had strong reservations. It brought several weeks of conflict into their marriage. He finally turned down the call, much to his wife's relief, and God confirmed his direction in the days that followed. "In the multitude of counselors there is safety" (Prov. 11:14), and that multitude needs to include those closest to us.

  2. When you're tired or discouraged. It's hard to make a sound decision when fainthearted. The devil's voice is often louder than God's, and words of accusation are stronger than words of encouragement. God may be leading you out, but He also may be building your spiritual muscle by having you stand firm in the face of hardship. While it is right to leave if our ministry is being rejected or if we're no longer leading, that matter must be tested over time, not over a few bad Sundays. Elijah wasn't thinking right while on the run. No one does. Fear and a sense of failure don't lead to sound judgment. Seek refreshment before deciding.

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