We’ve all been there. That awkward moment, when we realize that we’re called to leave the church.


Years ago, I joined a summer-long outreach with Campus Crusade (Cru). Each Saturday, we would mingle with countless strangers and ask them one question, “What WAS your Spiritual Journey?” Countless backgrounds and stories would pour out — each one diverse and distinct.


Relevant Article: 5 Ways that Rachel Held Evans Gave Hope to the Church


A couple of days ago, I found myself faced with the question, “What now?” As I walked through the meandering trail, I realized that our “Spiritual Journey” does not stop at our conversion, but continues through our Christian walk. I realized at that moment, “It’s OK to leave the Church.” However, how do we leave well? How do we leave with a good attitude, good relationship and good communication?


Thank Them


Thank the pastors and leaders from that church for their influence and support. Honor their leadership and calling. The church is like family — each one is distinct and culturally different. There’s nothing wrong with leaving a church, but make sure that your departure shows honor and love towards those who have supported you. You’re leaving people, not just a building.


Don’t Gossip


Silence can be the greatest gift that you offer someone. If you’re considering leaving the church, keep your conversations short with others. Seek counsel; not permission. Life changes.


As Millennials, we’re always in a state of transition and change. However, change needs to be a personal decision, not a group therapy session. Pray. Journal. Write a Pro and Con List. Take a walk. These activities lead to answers. When weighing a decision, keep your counsel to a minimum of two people who are wise and trustworthy.


Keep The Door Open 


You’re not leaving the Christian faith; you’re transitioning to a different church. It’s OK to leave — but always leave with open communication and open doors. The pastors might not be your spiritual advisors anymore, but they are your friends, your family, and your colleagues.


When leaving a church, it’s important to see your previous church family as collaborators, not competition. Your Spiritual Journey is an adventure. When leaving a church, remember not to slam the door. Seek Mentors who can offer some advice and walk with you on your journey.


Question: What is holding you back from moving forward and “Transitioning to a Different Church?” How can you transition through different careers and churches without burning bridges?



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Colleen Batchelder"> Colleen Batchelder
Colleen Batchelder has always been passionate about putting Feet to her Faith! She loves traveling the globe minstering at various churches, colleges and conferences speaking to audiences ranging in age from 9 – 101. She speaks on inter-generational communication, reaching millennials within the workplace and church and breaking down generational assumptions. When she’s not pouring over books, you can find her enjoying a nice Chai Latte, exploring NYC or traveling to a new and exotic destination.

One Comment

  1. Eric July 31, 2019 at 2:38 pm · Reply

    Great insights Colleen! Leaving the church I had grown up in and been a part of for 29 years was immensely difficult for me, but I for the most part followed similar advise to what you give here and it ended up being a great experience, almost like my pastors and elders saw it as sending my wife and I out to minister in a new community.

    I’ve had friends walk through this challenging issue and been disappointed by pastors trying to talk them out of it or “counsel” them to stay rather than asking questions they would of someone who believes that they are called to the foreign mission field. I believe as Christians, and especially leaders in church communities we should ask questions to confirm and fulfill where God is calling someone to go. Every day, everywhere we go we are to be on mission, fulfilling the great commission. Sometimes people leave a church because they just don’t like something, other times it’s because they are being called to a new place for a new season.

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