When is it to soon to leave a church?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by spurgeon2004, May 27, 2004.

  1. spurgeon2004

    spurgeon2004
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    I have been a pastor at a certain church for 10 months and recently a church called about coming to hear my preach that is without a pastor and about coming in view of a call. I wonder if this is to soon to be entertaining thoughts of possibly leaving?
     
  2. Major B

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    Paul stayed as short as four sabbath days (Thessalonica)! It is time when it is time.
     
  3. Greg Linscott

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    It would be for me. The question I would ask myself is, "Have I accomplished what God called me to do here?" Also, one must consider the effct a sudden departure has on the congregation. Ministry is about the people we serve on our Lord's behalf, not about seeking greener pastures around every bend. As a young man, I would also be concerned about the precedent and pattern I might be setting for my lifetime of ministry.

    And, no offense, Major B, but Paul's mission was transient by nature. A pastor's is not so.
     
  4. NateT

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    As a future pastor, and a current church member, I would think that for me, it would be too soon.

    On a side-note, I would not bring a search committee to my church unless my members already knew I was leaving. Unless you have a really large church, it will be pretty odd that there are 4 or 5 new visitors that all walked in at the same time. Especially if it's something like 3 men and 1 woman.

    Just something to think about.
     
  5. TaterTot

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    Well, did you send out a resume or was this from around the time you got your current pastorate? We have had churches call us, too, to see if we'd be interested in talking to them. (Hubby is pastor)But we feel we are right where the Lord wants us. I guess that's what you really have to decide - and that's easier said than done. If you are happy there, and if the Lord is blessing, then my guess is that you should stay. Just my opinion:)
     
  6. Johnv

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    When is it to soon to leave a church?
    I usually don't leae until after the sermon's over.

    Seriously, though. You need to evaluate your current situation and decide if your work at you current position has been complete. Have you finished at that location whatever it is that God called you there to do?
     
  7. Major B

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    My reply was somewhat tongue in cheek.

    Actually, if we go by the New Testament, churches were ministered to by a plurality of elders, most of which grew up in the local church, which is why Paul told Titus to appoint elders in every city.

    My pastor, now 33 years in the same congregation, which has grown from 69 to 1500 in that time, stayed in his first congregation 10 months, as did a friend who is now pastoring a new church plant which has gone from 0-400 in a year.

    As I said, when it is time, it is time. Better to leave than to over-stay your welcome!
     
  8. Major B

    Major B
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    Cute. Love it.

    Actually, I would have been better off to have NOT finished a sermon on gambling. I swear that I did not know that the richest guy in church was going to the riverboat casino every weekend!
     
  9. IdahoLabs

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    I would evaluate my own motives first of all.

    Is it possible you shouldn't have taken the first call? But if you are sure of it, then why are you unsure now? What happened?

    If there is trouble, and you leave, you leave the next guy with the trouble.

    I have more thoughts if you are interested.
     
  10. Roy1

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    I have just seen that this was posted twice, so here is the reply anlong the the other post

    spurgeon2004

    I would say yes it is too early to consider leaving at this point. How certain where you that this was the right church in the first place? If you are sure the Lord wanted you there then stick at it until it is VERY clear for you to move on. 10 months is not long, and I am sure the congregation would feel this is a great betrayal, unless there was some prior agreement for you to stay such a short time.

    Take much time, prayer, consideration, and council before any move.

    God bless,
    Roy
     
  11. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Don't have a Bible reason, but I think ethically it would be too soon to consider leaving at this point.

    Your present congregation called you in good faith. IMO, for the little it is worth, you owe them more than ten months.

    Roger
     
  12. Singing Cop

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    Would you as a pastor be relunctant to take a church if you knew the previous pastor was only there 10 months? One might wonder if there were "other reasons". This could potentially hurt the ministry of the church long after you're gone. Just a thought.
     
  13. SaggyWoman

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    Depends on what God wants, why he brought you there, and what he has in store for you. Personally, in my life, there has been no set ritual. Some things time was obviously up (season had ended--college or seminary over). At other times, I became completely miserable. At other times, God closed doors. And, yes, eventually opened others.
     
  14. blackbird

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    We had a "Runnin' Joke" at seminary(NOBTS 1987)

    The Pastor's name on the outdoor Marque is written in chalk----and the Deacon Chairman is holding the eraser!!!

    I pastored a church in Louisiana---was there no more than two Sundays when I figured out---"These folks ain't gonna like me!"----I stuck it out for 18 months-----that was about 17 months and 3 weeks too long!!

    No trouble at the church??

    Out of the blue another church calls??

    If there were no "Beyond a shadow of a doubt" that the Lord wanted me to talk with them---I wouldn't go--even to talk---don't flirt with another church----it just may be that you will discover that you're drivin' a Cadillac(pastoring present church) and church #2 turns out to be a Volkswagon ---- know what I mean?????
     
  15. Jonathan

    Jonathan
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    Would the advise be different for pastors and the laity?

    I am not a pastor but am a pastor's son (married to a pastor's daughter) and have a great deal of insight into a number of reasons why pastors leave baptist church. As a lay member of a baptist church, I have insight into the other side as well.

    When I ask pastor friends of mine about lay people leaving a church for reasons other than doctrinal, I am consistently told that members ought never leave a church as long as they are in agreement with the doctrinal stance of the church (or pastor). When I ask these same friends about a pastor leaving a church for other than doctrinal reasons, I get a different answer entirely.

    Interesting.
     
  16. Pastor J

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    Jonathan,

    One difference is the Pastor would be moving to a new area, where typically a lay person would just be church hopping. With that said, I do believe that people should also leave a church that they don't agree with philosophically. The church may be doctrinally sound, but a person may disagree with the way the church is run philosophically. There may be a church in the area that is better suited to meet the spiritual needs of the individual and his family.
     
  17. USN2Pulpit

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    For instance, if a KJVO finds himself in a MV using church - if he doesn't agree he should go, rather than staying and becoming bitter and contentious.
     
  18. Jonathan

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    I agree with you. When a pastor and his family leave a church, there is usually a much greater impact to the family and, thus, a more intense consideration (I've lived through that one on a number of occasions. The layperson rarely has the same consideration.

    That said, I greatly appreciate your view about the importance of philosophical agreement (or, at the very least, consent). You are in the minority, as a pastor, on this point...but you are in the correct minority. [​IMG]
     

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