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God told me to leave and go to another church
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Post bradfreeman
drmrc wrote:
People will come and people will go. It's part of the "circle of church life".
Sometimes it's a blessing. Sometimes is a burden. Sometimes it a shock -- we didn't see it coming. Sometimes it feels like a slap in the face, and at other times it's a sigh of relief. It is the nature of church and it is the nature of human relationships.

As pastors, we must afford the people in our church the same courtesy and freedom we have. Very few pastors spend their whole ministry at one church. Even those of us who are long term (I've been at City Church for almost 38 years), we probably served at least one or two other churches. There comes a point where we say, "I feel like my time is over here and God is leading my ministry in a different direction." If we have the right to say that, then our church members do as well -- without feeling like somehow that have done something wrong or shameful.

Also, as pastors we have all been on the other side of this equation. Not all of the growth at our churches has come from conversion growth. Good people have come to our churches from other churches. Do we believe God sent them to us -- that it is God's will for them to come to our church? Usually, the answer is "of course." Well, just think-- there is another pastor on the other side who probably at the moment finds it hard to say that.

Gentlemen and ladies, we can't have it both ways. What goes around comes around. By God's grace, flow with the season God has you in. Keep the mission of Jesus in the center. Love the people God has sent you -- when they come and when they leave. They are not your sheep. They are His.

I fully understand that some people are running away from problems ... or hurts ... our frustration. Speak redemptively into their lives. Bring grace to situations where misunderstandings may have been. Release them to serve God. Let them know that your door and your heart are always open to them. Never speak ill of them to others. God will not bless this, and it will backfire.

Then, give yourself a day or two to be down. Then, get up, dust yourself off. Remember the words of Nehemiah, "I cannot quit for I am doing a great work."

For what it's worth...

Mike Chapman


Very well said.

It does seem that pastors are the only ones who accurately hear God's direction to leave a church. Shocked
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6/7/14 7:39 pm


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Quiet Wyatt wrote:
Probably the worst I ever heard was several years ago, when our only piano player, who was very much involved in many crucial aspects of our small church, said God told her to just start having church at her house and that "the time was too short before Jesus' return" for her to attend our church any more. Had to be the goofiest excuse for dropping out of church I ever heard. The fact that she would try to attribute this excuse to the leading of the Holy Spirit was just amazing.


Was there a group at her home she was hosting, or was it just her?
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6/7/14 9:09 pm


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If the pastor can stop pastoring your church because God told him so, can't people in the church go elsewhere if God tells them so?
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6/7/14 9:10 pm


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Post Dean Steenburgh
Have you had people where you could easily let go of one of the spouses & keep the other?

I've got a fairly new one right now that I really don't understand. I don't think I'm even going to be informed when they finally leave ...too strange to even go into.

Praise God for the faithful leaders He sends us & for the ones who are on their way.


.
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6/7/14 11:44 pm


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Post Carolyn Smith
Dean Steenburgh wrote:
Have you had people where you could easily let go of one of the spouses & keep the other?

I've got a fairly new one right now that I really don't understand. I don't think I'm even going to be informed when they finally leave ...too strange to even go into.

Praise God for the faithful leaders He sends us & for the ones who are on their way.


.


Interesting signature line there, Dean...
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6/8/14 1:48 am


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Post Bro Bob
For what it is worth Bro Chapman, I give a hearty AMEN to your comment.

Even better coming from a pastor who practices faithfulness.

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6/8/14 7:41 am


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Post Some thoughts... Aaron Scott
Many years ago, a choice and cherished family in our church got caught up in "revival" in Lakeland with Rodney Howard Browne. They enjoyed the worship better, etc.

It hurt. They were good people. Thankfully, they left sweetly. The wife in the family, though a sincere Christian, seemed to be the one that called the spiritual shots in the house.

But w loved them, wished them well, etc.

Some time later, perhaps a few months, they returned. Oh, the joy! And the man was so good as to get up and own up that they had missed it. They realized that the closeness and authenticity of our little church was, indeed, special.

I'm so glad we didn't slam the door closed.

Then, a good few years after that, another family exodus. This time, it was not only much larger (and extended family), but under a bit more friction. Worse, this family had been very, very close to us for decades.

But hurt feelings, missteps, miscues, etc., all worked up to hurt one of them in particular...and this was permitted to spread through the family, I guess.

They were a HUGE part of the church. Some of the finest, most anointed singers, musicians, and ministers around.

It left a huge hole. But we just did the best we could and kept going, with zero recriminations, etc.

Some time later, after bouncing around a few churches, this family came back. We took the Lincoln approach: "With malice toward none, and charity toward all." We just welcomed them back and loved them.

Before long, bridges that had seemingly been burnt were repaired, love was restored, etc. Yes, it cost that family some things--it broke up a marriage, it broke the family into smaller, more independent, pieces--but at least fellowship was restored.

You never know, but that person who leaves, may be calling on you one day to pray for them, to counsel them...to PASTOR them. Be sweet so that you can be a shepherd when they need one.
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6/8/14 8:42 pm


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Post bigchurchmouse
Good post, Aaron. As someone posted earlier, "they are God's sheep" no matter which barn they sleep in. People often get hurt and they, in turn, hurt other people. Ministers and members all have flaws. The Devil thrives on discord in churches. Golf Cart Mafia Capo
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6/9/14 7:49 am


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Post Quiet Wyatt
Link wrote:
Quiet Wyatt wrote:
Probably the worst I ever heard was several years ago, when our only piano player, who was very much involved in many crucial aspects of our small church, said God told her to just start having church at her house and that "the time was too short before Jesus' return" for her to attend our church any more. Had to be the goofiest excuse for dropping out of church I ever heard. The fact that she would try to attribute this excuse to the leading of the Holy Spirit was just amazing.


Was there a group at her home she was hosting, or was it just her?


It was just her. No home group meetings ever became of it. She lived about a mile from our very rural church. The thing that especially broke our hearts was she was very involved in our church's children's ministries, and had basically adopted our own kids. Even to this day, several years later, our kids will ask about "Aunt Bea" (their nickname for her), wondering how she's doing.
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6/9/14 9:28 am


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