“I’m not growing spiritually and my needs aren’t being met at my church.”
Sound familiar? You may have heard it from friends or past church members when you ask them why they left church. You may have also heard it from me a few years ago when I considered leaving my church. By the grace of God and His work in my friends, I came to realize that those were really bad reasons to leave church. So, I stayed and here’s why:
- Both Kelvin and I were frustrated with how church was and what it seemed to be becoming. But we knew that we couldn’t just complain and do nothing. Well… we could, but it wouldn’t be productive or helpful. So we agreed that we would put in an honest effort to try and help/change/contribute in areas of church that were causing us frustration. We attended our church AGM meetings, voiced concerns, and just simply spoke up. You can keep ranting to friends but unless you let decision makers know or get involved, nothing will happen. I got more involved in worship, Kelvin became a department head, and we lead a youth fellowship now.
- I realized I was so immature, so childlike, to think that the church exists to serve my needs. Aaron Loy put it frankly when he said, “the church doesn’t exist to meet your needs. You are part of a church that exists to meet the needs of the world.” One can’t keep taking and consuming from the church, and continue to believe the lie that the church is all about “me”. The church is about Jesus and what did He come on this earth to do? He came to save the broken, the hurt, the sinners and He commissions us to do the same. So I stopped thinking about myself, and as mentioned in reason #1, I got involved and contributed.
- Kelvin and I lead a youth group of incredible kids. After we left the comforts of our university fellowship, we felt out of place and unable to find a fellowship we fit into. But somehow, we comfortably fit into leadership roles for this youth group. Kelvin and I joke that sometimes we feel like proud parents seeing our kids grow, mature and do remarkable things. We build relationships with our kids, invest in them emotionally, and we love them the best way we know how. I’ll be honest with you and tell you that I felt in no way ready to be a fellowship leader. I had just graduated from university, had no “real” job, and felt like I had nothing to give them. But God overfilled me so that I could fill them up. God didn’t care that I didn’t have a job, He just wanted Kelvin and I to love our kids and to invest in their lives. He wanted us to mentor them and to share with them our experiences and lessons learnt. The beautiful thing about mentorship is that it’s a 2-way street and in return, we have learnt so much from them as well.
Those are the reasons I stayed. I’m not saying you have to, nor will they be all your reasons to stay. But I will encourage you to talk to your pastor about why you may be considering leaving, make sure they’re not any of these really bad reasons, and pray about it. Pray that God helps you discern what you’re really seeking and that He will quiet your heart so that you can hear His voice.
Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!