Updated date:

Reasons Faithful Members Leave the Church

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She researches and shares remedies for using certain products for illnesses.

Empty Church

Empty Church

Why Do Faithful Members Leave the Church?

Pastors and top leaders can't help but notice that people who have been faithful for many years sometimes leave the church. Some pastors tend to overlook the trend and say they are called to preach only to the people left in the church. They should seek to find out the reason people who were once faithful are finding it necessary to leave. If they knew the reason, it might help to prevent others from leaving.

They should seek to find out the reason people who were once faithful are leaving. If pastors knew the reasons, perhaps the reasons could be addressed to prevent others from leaving.

Not a Spur-of-the-Moment Decision

If the truth be told, most people do not leave the church on the spur of the moment. People have reported that they have endured many months and even years of being dissatisfied before they made the ultimate decision to leave.

It is usually the little things that add up that convinced churchgoers that it would be in their best interest to leave.

It's a Hard Choice for Faithful Members

It is never easy for members to leave a church, and it would be wise for pastors to find out the reasons. If a faithful member leaves, it must be a good reason to do so because a faithful member would never leave a church a church he has invested in for years.

Usually, when a faithful member leaves, it is the lesser of many evils as the saying goes. The member more than likely is between a rock and a hard place. He is miserable and doesn't foresee any changes in the future.

The situation becomes like the biblical story found in 2 Kings 7:3-4 about four lepers who decided they were going to die if they stayed where they were. However, if they got up and left at least they had a chance of survival. Spoiler Alert: They left and they did survive!

Two Groups of People Who Leave the Chuch

It is important to know that there are many people who become church dropouts. People in that category are those who go to church out of habit because their parents forced them to go when they were younger. Therefore, they keep up that tradition. They attend church, but they never become committed. They don't connect with people in the church or get involved with any ministry.

It is much easier for those people to leave because they haven't really invested in the church, and the church really hasn't invested in them.

However, there is another group of people who leave the church. That group includes faithful members who have had active roles in the church and have done considerable work within the church. They have invested in the church and at one time the church invested in them, but the church has ceased doing that. These people were faithful members with leadership positions, but then they leave. Why?

Signs a Member Is Considering Leaving

Here are some signs that indicate a member is not satisfied and is considering leaving the church.

  • Irregular attendance. The first sign that a member is not satisfied at church is when he or she stops attending worship service and other church events on a regular basis.
  • Giving has stopped. A big sign is when a member stops giving, especially if he had no problem giving before. The faithful member will reduce his usual tithes and then stop giving altogether.
  • Not involved in ministries. If a person has no interest in ministries, small groups, Bible Study or Sunday school, it might mean that the person is no longer interested in the church.
  • Not fellowshipping with other members. When a person is not satisfied with the church, he might not want to communicate or fellowship with other members.

Gradual or Abrupt Departure

Sometimes faithful members leave the church rather suddenly without any signs. However, sometimes members take a long time before they leave because they want to make the best decision according to God's plan for their lives. So, their leaving is gradual because they want to make sure they are doing the right thing.

Same Reasons in Different Churches

It is safe to say that the reasons faithful members leave one church are usually the same reasons others are leaving their churches. In other words, while the people and churches are different, the reasons remain the same.

Through consultations, interviews, and surveys, the followings are main reasons people leave churches they have been members of for many years. This article will list some of the top reasons; however, there are certainly more.

Conflict in the Church

People have conflicts within their family and on their job. They shouldn't have to deal with conflict within the church. No church is perfect, but there should be a certain degree of harmony in the church. The church should take inventory and find out why there is so much discord in a place that should be a refuge for all people.

Faithful members want harmony in their church.

Members Not Given Needed Support

Sometimes people don't get the support they need from the church when they go through a personal tragedy or traumatic event. When those people don't get the support they need from the church, they decide to discontinue their support to the church.

Church Burnout

Sometimes faithful members feel burnout because of the church's demands on them. Much work is given to faithful members because they can be counted on to do it efficiently and in a timeless manner. Those who are loaded down with programs, needless meetings, unnecessary training and other responsibilities eventually get to a point that they are so burned out that they don't enjoy going to church any longer.

The Bible should be the church's instruction book.

The Bible should be the church's instruction book.

Not Being Fed

Too often people say they left a church because they were not being fed. In other words, they believe they were not getting the teaching or preaching they needed to strengthen them spiritually. Sometimes they are right. However, it should be a shared responsibility between the church and the people.

Churchgoers should not rely totally on a two-hour worship service on Sunday mornings to give them everything they need in order to develop spiritually. They should participate in their own blessings by reading the Bible and studying it on their own. They should attend Bible Study and Sunday school where they can ask questions about what they don't understand. However, pastors and teachers fail the people if they don't provide spirit-filled preaching and teaching.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

Using Sermons From the Internet

Pastors fail the people when they download just any sermon off the internet and preach it regardless of the issues and concerns in his own church. It is acceptable to get inspiration from sermons that other preachers have preached, but the most effective sermon comes from a pastor who has received it from God for his own congregation at a particular time. A sermon preached in North Carolina last month might not be the sermon that a congregation needs in Delaware this coming Sunday.

Good advice for preachers is never try to stand tall in the pulpit on Sunday morning without first having knelt before God days in advance.

Every church should use the Bible as its book of instructions.

Every church should use the Bible as its book of instructions.

Other Reasons Faithful Members Leave The Church

Way People FeelReason People Feel The Way The Do

Not Validated

People are left out and forgotten on the job or in the community. Church should be different.

Spiritual Abuse

The church fails its people when it overlooks the spiritual needs of the people.

Unfair Treatment

God is no respecter of people, but everybody in the church is not treated the same.

Dictatorship

The whole church is in trouble when one or a few people make all the decisions without considering opinions from others.

Favoritism

Everybody who belongs to a church also belongs to the family of God. There should be no favorites in the church.

Nepotism

The church fails when family members are considered more important than other members of the church.

No Confidentiality

What's shared in the pastor's study shouldn't be aired from the pulpit the next Sunday.

Unfulfilled Expectation

When the needs of a person are not met, he believes the church isn't doing isn't job. People go to church to be helped; not to be hurt.

Micromanagement

Pastors and top leaders fail miserably when they don't give members freedom to use their gifts without interferring.

Advice for People Who Leave a Church

There is nothing wrong if a person leaves a church when directed by God. No one is advocating church hopping, but when people are absolutely sure God is leading them away from a certain church, then that person will be disobedient if he or she doesn't leave. However, that person should connect with another church as soon as possible.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

Comments

Jenny Rose Aala on September 14, 2020:

Thank you for this article. This is an answered prayer for me. Leaving church is not a sin.

My husband and I are in grieved, our daughter died just a few months ago.

Since i became Christian and a church worker, all i did was to adjust my personal life because i want to know God, i want to serve Him.

But suddenly i felt like, i am too far away from God.

I felt like i was obliged to do this and that to pleased Pastor/Church. But my heart is really far away from God. I am not literally Happy.

One time i was embarrassed by my spiritual leader during our Bible Study.

And that really hurts, knowing that i am in the state of grieving. She don't want me to be friends with my neighbor, she said its not good to share Jesus with my neighbor.

At that confused me.

I am not happy. I feel like i am not having a LIFE. Feels like robot, a puppet.waiting for their instructions from "God"?

I know it is not by Good works that we are saved. I dont understand why are they pushing to do this and that. Leave your job. Etc .... Its so sad

Jay C OBrien from Houston, TX USA on July 12, 2020:

I left the Methodist Church and looked around at other faiths including: Hindu and Islam. They all represent God/The Ideal as Jealous, Vengeful, or Wrathful. I believe God is Good, Always Good, Never Evil. Any story which depicts God/The Ideal as being Evil, is Blasphame. Read the Bible with this in mind.

Fred Seton on September 20, 2019:

For 1,500 years the first beast (Rome) kept the bible from being written so people could not read it. Now 500 years later the second beast (United States) has kept the teaching about the Holy Spirit hidden from the world. Tribulation will free the people with the teaching of the power and freedom of the Holy Spirit to everyone. The last days is the last battle to remove the church stone by stone as Jesus promised.

The last stone is still standing. The economic crash will take the money away from churches. The church is still collecting money from people for their service. Even those who see the problem in the churches are simply trying to rearrange the stones and collect money from the people for it.

You are selling what GOD has revealed to you. You anger Jesus by collecting money or selling information GOD has freely shown you. You show a complete lack of faith in GOD! You show a bad witness to the people you are supposed to guild by your witness!

Jesus cursed the priests (church) for asking for money or selling things. HE sent the Holy Spirit. GOD’s message should be free. The church lacks faith and puts itself under a curse. Do not confuse priest with preacher, they are the same!

The Holy Spirit has delivered GOD’s message it should never require money to receive it. You can not charge for words the Holy Spirit has freely given. This is the stones that must be taken down! The Holy Spirit must be set free to guild with the full power.

The antichrist ruled the priests. They could not, did not trust GOD for their substance, so lacking faith in GOD, they collected money.

You can not rebuild or rearrange the stones. The full power of the Holy Spirit and the availability of it’s power to everyone must be taught. It’s power must be given back to the little people as Jesus promised. This is the revelation and power that will drive the Tribulation Saints.

The economic crash will finally take the money from the church. It’s great sin will be revealed. When gold is worthless the church is dead, and the antichrist is revealed. The antichrist controls the churches through the money.

The last stone is the money. To ask for or even mention it is a sin and puts you under the power of the antichrist It is fear and lack of faith in the true GOD.

Tithing was before Mosses, it was a commandment for the people, it was never for the priest to ask for money to hear GOD’s words. The priests lacked faith and were controlled by the antichrist through their fear.

The priests action actually taught the people to sin, by their actions. They were to lead by example. They were not trusting GOD, this taught the people to stop trusting GOD.

Your works reflect your believes or lack of believes, and is the most powerful teacher. The “church” of today still teaches that.

People today feel guilt and shame if they are poor and have no money to support the church. A poor person gets treated better going to the local pub, someone will likely even buy you a beer.

God woke me last night and had me write this down, I wrote as He spoke. May God bless and lead you.

Fred Seton http://www.thenewsong.org/ onlyawatchman@gmail.com

Tim on July 27, 2019:

My ex wife divorced me 2 years ago. She began dating a church pastor in January 2019, who I was friends and a classmate of since Kindergarten 42 years ago, and he proposed to her 3 months later. Then, they had a protection order made, restricting me from visiting even that church. I personally do not see it as a Christian move to marry a twice divorcing woman in the wife who divorced me, by a church pastor and life long friend. She plays keyboard in his church as well. He will not even speak to me now either. Gods church leaders do not do such, and he even drove some long time church goers away from the church.

K on July 22, 2019:

Abuse... is hard...

Ann Dyer on July 17, 2019:

I am considering resigning from my church due to problems with my daughters husband's family with so many problems and sometimes subjecting that IAM the problem for the children having problems, that I tried to talk to the other parent with nothing resolved. Now things are all messed up so I am going to be leaving for peace.

geoffrey bishop on May 20, 2019:

By this all men shall know that you are my disciples that you have love one to another.

I have read these comments and agree with a lot of them, indeed I am in the same situation re church attendance.

But the big thing I found was the lack of genuine true love among christians. Not just saying it but actually loving people no matter who they are. Its the lack of love thats often the issue with churches. Also if a person has never been truley born again how can they really love like Christ did. they cant !

Keith on March 24, 2019:

People leave a church because of changes in docturin, especially if the new docturin is a false docturin and false teachings.

PG4Him on February 16, 2019:

Jay: Funny you should mention that. I’m actually in the city where Edgar Cayce founded ARE.

Jay C OBrien from Houston, TX USA on February 16, 2019:

PG4Him: try an Edgar Cayce Study Group. They meet in the home, not in a building. They teach meditation, dream analysis and self analysis. See: https://hubpages.com/health/Summary-of-There-is-a-...

PG4Him on February 16, 2019:

I can definitely relate to this. Although I’m still young (in my thirties) I spent many years in the church. I desperately want to find a church that’s decent enough to justify getting up Sunday morning. That’s all I ask. I don’t demand much. But this has been impossible to find. Instead I find pastors and teachers quoting from the internet in sermons so basic I could have written it myself. I hear pop songs from KLOVE badly redone by amateur rock bands. I leave the church, often with a headache, feeling like I could have fed my own self from home in my pajamas. And don’t bother asking for fellowship after service; there’s always an excuse why the clique can’t meet you for coffee. Over and over this happens from one church to the next. I don’t think pastors understand, it’s not worth getting up at 7:00 and driving across town for THAT.

These days with Skype, social media, YouTube, and cellphones, I can have prayer meeting or Bible study with a Christian anywhere in the country. I can fellowship with Spirit-filled believers whenever I want. I can tithe/give to ministries from a distance. I don’t need to report to a building every Sunday morning to stay in fellowship. There are many forner church members just like me. We’re still in the body, but we’re not at the local building.

Deborah on February 05, 2019:

I found a small Baptist Church to attend after praying to the Lord on Sunday and walking by their Community Day. I vowed to God that I would fellowship with the body according to his will, and I needed to. I joined that Sunday, I even encouraged my children and grand to attend and join. However, when I tried to join the widow's ministry, it was discouraged and the the invitation cancelled. I'm a young widow and bring a different perspective to that area. So, I started teaching computers to members and the community in the evenings. I took on the website and other computer related tasks that suited my skillset. It's been almost six years. Over the last few years, I've had personal issues and each time I reached out to the church, no one responded or wanted to talk. The pastor told me to pray...just pray and believe. Well, prayer is a great tool a mighty weapon but we are God's body to take action based on prayer. Now I have cancer and trust me, not one women's ministry member has called to check on my in six month. Finally the former women's leader called and I told her everything and how I was asking God to heal my heart because bitterness has crept in. We had a good fellowship. Then a few days later the Pastor called but I couldn't talk with him. Where is my church.....why don't they reach out.

Bill on January 30, 2019:

Nice article. When a pastor tells you that its better you leave. Then say we will give you a free funeral. Oh we love you´ HE.Cuts off your nose and gives you a rose.

As a very active member of this church for 3-4 years attendance 50 average. I have helped push them forward. I rebuild the front of the church with pathing and planting giving it a fresh look. Dóne the drainage around the church and done a pathing area as well as pushed for a play area for the kids. Unfortunately its a democratic church which sadly its too political. Example too many meetings and everything takes time and no decision making example - 1 year later they meet up to decide a play area which is still on going. 3 years after taking down a window they are still deciding on what to do.

I confronted the pastor who basically doesn t want change for the good. Even preached against what I was trying to say. The pastor has a gift but is young and immature. I do not want to be too judgement but Too much ego and its shows has his face is all over the webpage. I am not the first person to challenge the strong bureauacy in the church and will not be the last. If God sent 500 unbelievers one sunday to get saved its sad to say but they would nt be there after a few months. That's a problem the church needs to move forward but the pastor and the board do not. I have written a letter to leave as I can not help them and do not want to become bitter and reject like the last person who s still there.

. As for the free funeral did nt YESHUA say- Let the dead bury the dead.

I do know one thing that God always gets his own way in the end or I pray that it does nt happen but close down the church like the 300 churches closing down á week in the USA.

charlie from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans on January 16, 2019:

christine- you have an obligation to use Matthew 18

Matt 18:15-20

15 "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.

If they do not respond you MUST TELL EVERYONE

18 "Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

19 "Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."

JPGaud on January 11, 2019:

My old church is mostly comprised of members 70 & up. My wife and I are in our late fifties and we never felt like we fit in. Oh, members were nice & polite, but WE had to initiate contact. We tried. We would put together a meal or dessert tray and go visit others for fellowship, but there was no reciprocation.

"Clique" comes to mind. I used to joke with my wife that the church treats us like deity: our existence is ignored until they want something from us or they want us to do something for them. Don't come up with any ideas or suggestions. Just mow the grass, pick up trash, change lightbulbs, oil hinges, bring dishes to pass, help clean up, and we'll get along just fine.

The final straw for me was when I went by ambulance to the hospital. I was discharged and sent home next afternoon. Not a call, cards, or a visit from anyone at the church. I stopped going. Again, not a call or a visit from anyone. I began hearing little snippets about what a disappointment we were to the church.

11 months go by. I got a call from a church Deacon; they were going to vote for erasure of my membership for lack of attendance, communion, and financial support at the next business meeting. I told them I was fine with that, since I was already gone. The Deacon: "Well, OK then." *click*

I'm attending another church, but the atmosphere here isn't much different than the other church. I just don't seem to fit in with the regulars these days. I remember things being much different in churches 40 years ago. Some of these churches today could put up a sign; First Baptist Church of ****** "Where many are cold, and few are frozen."

Why are people leaving the church? Because people want to feel like they're needed, valued, loved, and appreciated like a church family; not the dysfunctional Kardashians, or feeling compelled to vie for initiation into an exclusive "good-ole-boy" club.

Lee Elizabeth on December 30, 2018:

My church is largely comprised of young couples with small children. The seniors are often told that they are needed to watch the children so the parents can attend church services. However, the children are not being raised to minister to the needs of their elders. If an older person is in a wheel chair and needs someone to help them move, shovel snow from their driveway or just visit with them, the youngsters are no where to be found. An elderly woman left our church because she had asked our pastor several times to come and pray with her daughter who was in hospice. While pastor seemed to have time to participate in all the youth events in our church, he never made a visit to the hospice. The woman felt heartbroken and left the church. Phone calls made on behalf of elderly in need are often not returned until days later. It is difficult to talk to my pastor about the needs of the elderly in the fellowship. I have found his manner to be indifferent and dismissive. My church attendance has been erratic because I just havent felt like going. I have been thinking about this for weeks so it is not an impulse decision. I will be looking for a church with a strong elderly ministry or one that will be receptive to starting one.

RUTH N on December 15, 2018:

What does it mean if someone leaves because they no longer supporting the church? Is it a tithe issue

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on October 28, 2018:

Christine, unfortunately, that is happening more and more in churches these days. Since you have left, I think it would be wise to keep silent about what went on at the church when you were there. If you couldn't help resolve issues when you were secretary of the church, surely you won't be able to make a difference now.

You are considered an outsider, and even your friends won't take your side. If they are still at the church, then they are loyal to the church and nothing you say will matter.

Churches like that keep people under their spell. I believe the best thing you can do is to maintain your own relationship with God and leave the church up to Him to get it back on track.

Christine on October 27, 2018:

Really enjoy your article! I recently left my long time church because the interim pastor and new deacons were gossiping about members. They were not talking to resolve any issues it was gossiping! I was the secretary and the interim pastor would tell me information about members he was counseling and he views on these individuals, things he said was just mean spirited! I didn’t really tell anyone what was going on because this church is damaged and I didn’t want to damage it more! I have many friends that still attend there and didn’t want to hurt them! Then after I left the leadership is slandering me at church meetings, actually lying about me because they know the information I have! Am I doing the right thing by remaining silent?

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on October 11, 2018:

Mellisa, since you have been thinking about revisiting the same church, it is probably a good reason to do so. It will stay on your mind until you do go back. It might be God gently nudging you to visit.

If after you go back and you don't see any changes, then you will know for sure that your original decision to leave was the best thing for you to do at the time.

Mellisa Hills on October 10, 2018:

Hello, after reading your posts about this I felt that it was really relatable on the reasons why I left church. I haven’t been to church for a really long while probably the last time I went back was 3-4 years ago. The reason why I left was mainly I felt too pressured and disagree with certain things like having to share the gospel, etc although the community and the church I had was really loving and caring, I decided to just leave without telling anyone. Recently, I wanted to go back to church but didn’t know exactly how to as I felt pretty bad as previously I cut off terms with everyone from the church and honestly the reason why I wanted to revisit the same church I went to as I felt really curious about it not sure why haha and wanted to experience it again to see how it is like but yet at the same time I’m afraid to face it.....

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on September 20, 2018:

Bill, I agree with what the pastor said about moving on. God has forgiven you, but I think you should apologize to the pastor and tell him that you blasted him while you were angry. This is necessary for you to move forward with a clean slate.

Bill on September 20, 2018:

I was really angry that one of the church spoke to my wife regarding our lack of commitment in our church. I was really angry and I called 2 members of our church and our Senior Pastor and blasted them on the phone. I also told my Senior Pastor that I am leaving the church and joining another church. After that I called a Pastor from the church that I am planning to join and he prayed over me and my wife and asked for forgiveness from GOD on what had transpired. He told us to move forward. Do you have any advise?

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on September 13, 2018:

Eileen, I hope things work out for you and your husband. It is not a comfortable position to be in. In the end, things will work out. It is the wait and see mode that you are in that seems to be the most challenging.

Eileen Eisner on September 13, 2018:

Thank you for your affirmation. I have spoken to my pastor about this and I'm still struggling with his response and the response of those in senior leadership. I am in a wait and see mode AND PRAYING, right now due to commitments that both my husband and I have made.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on September 12, 2018:

Eileen, I could sense your heavy heart as I read your post. The Bible says the shepherd should leave those in the church and go after the one who leaves. According to Luke 15:4, "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn't he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?"

I used to be a leader of a church and lots of people were leaving. I asked the pastor if he wanted me to contact the people to find out why they were leaving so we could address some of the problems to prevent others from leaving. He banged his fist on his desk and said he didn't care who left. He added that he was called to preach to those in the church even if it was just two people. I disagree with what he said and his reaction to the situation.

Faithful members are still leaving including those who have been there 40 and 50 years. In a two-year period, six of the ministers left including me because of various reasons. I let the pastor know I was leaving and he has not reached out to me yet and I did so much for the church when I was there.

I believe God is going to have a special meeting with those pastors who don't reach out to former members because shepherds are supposed to take care of sheep.

Eileen Eisner on September 12, 2018:

I am the membership chairperson in my Church. We have recently seen the departure of several active, devote, long time members. I am in touch with them however they are expressing disappointment that the pastor has not reached out to them. I addressed this issue with one of our leaders and his response was that THEY need to call the pastor - as in make the first move in an attempt to heal the wounds. I disagree. Am I wrong. My heart is very heavy over this situation.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on August 25, 2018:

Hannah, stop feeling guilty about leaving the church. You have done nothing wrong. Your salvation does not depend on whether you are inside of a church building or not. It matters more about what is in your heart.

People leave a church for various reasons. If you know you have grown as much as you can from a particular church, it is nothing wrong with leaving that church.

To stay in a church after God has given you the clearance to leave is disobedience, and staying there is what you should feel guilty about.

Don't allow others to make you feel guilty about leaving. They do not know how God is working things out for your own good.

Hannah, the best advice I can give you is to seek God for what He wants you to do with the rest of your life to honor Him. God knows and God cares.

Hannah on August 25, 2018:

This really helped me. I recently stopped attending a church I have been going to ever since I was younger. I’ve been feeling a little guilty about it since I feel like I’ve let people down but I feel like God has been telling me to leave for awhile now. I started noticing the negativity of the church and how it wasn’t affecting me in a positive uplifting way anymore. I have people from the church messaging and sending me notes saying they miss me. Do you have any advice on how I can stop feeling so guilty about my decision?

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on August 22, 2018:

Hxprof in Clearwater, Florida: Thanks for your detailed comments about why faithful members leave their church. Perhaps your comments will help those who are wondering about the same thing.

Hxprof on August 22, 2018:

Interesting piece Margaret. I'm wondering how many people leave the church for the reason that I left? I left because I came to realize that, beyond the basic gospel message, my church was teaching lies! Argh!! I doubt that those who leave for this reason find it helpful or necessary to tell that pastor why they're leaving. What are you going to say, "hey, I'm leaving because you're not truly teaching the gospel?" But it won't be long Margaret, that we'll see more people leaving churches and seeking out ministries that are true to the gospel, and are helping Christians prepare spiritually for the coming days, and to be used by God as he plans for each person. The birth pangs have been underway for a while now, and as they grow more intense, some Christians will wake up and realize that they've been told a lie about being raptured before the Great Tribulation. Then they'll seek the Lord intently, apart from the churches that have misled them.

My goal here Margaret isn't to be a bummer, but to contribute in a small way to your understanding of what's happening, so that hopefully, as you see this trend accelerate (and it will, and there will be further division in the current church system), that you'll begin to understand what's happening. Blessings.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on July 24, 2018:

PlanksandNails, thanks for reading and sharing your comments about faithful members leaving the church.

PlanksandNails on July 24, 2018:

Unfortunately, many deceived people believe in the corruption of the word 'church' and believe in a religious system that focuses on a building with people in it who adhere to a denominational template with salaried clergy running things. Church members who leave the institutional church system is a good thing because everything about what is called 'church' today is man-driven.

Christ has fulfilled the tithe and the temple system that the church system needs for its survival.

The body of Christ is built upon the principles of the Kingdom of God and has no resemblance whatsoever to religious buildings called 'church' and the worldly principles it is built upon.

Jay C OBrien from Houston, TX USA on July 15, 2018:

I left mainline Christianity because I believe much of the Bible is Blasphemy rather than scripture. Any story which depicts God as: Jealous, Vengeful, Wrathful or Violent is Blasphemy. Why? Because God is Good, All Good, and Always has been. Any story stating God is violent is a Projection of the author and is Not of God. Does anyone understand this?

charlie from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans on July 14, 2018:

sherry- Jesus does not have any "seeker friendly church" it's His way or the highway. Being a real follower of Christ means you serve him not men. You see that your money goes to whom it is intended, you see that the poor, orphans. truly needy and widows over 62 have their needs met and so forth. You cannot serve man and Jesus at the same time . Scripture says you cannot serve two masters. Serve Jesus by doing all He requires of You not what man requires of you. You must be baptized in the Holy Spirit of God and following it where, when and to whom it leads you, check MT 28:18-20

sherry on July 14, 2018:

Personally, over the last 10 years my family has been experiencing seeker friendly Churches everywhere we go. Super friendly, great music and coffee, upbeat sermons. My family loves to serve but as we have experienced, the Church is only interested in how we can serve, they are all about your family when you are serving and they keep adding to your plate but the min you have to take a step back from serving they are no longer interested in you or your family because you are no longer serving the cause. It’s very hurtful. I am not mad at God. I know we are all imperfect people. This is a pattern I am seeing. I desire true relationships with Believers but it seems as if you are not doing ABC.... then you are of no use to the Church. We all need to do better at loving one another without agendas.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on July 02, 2018:

nerissa, I think the problem is on both sides: the ones who run away from the church and the leaders who run the church. However, I believe leaders who have been placed in that position should seek God and be more mindful of what edifies the people.

Then, on the other hand, there is nothing wrong with leaving a church and going to another one when God says so. There are positive reasons for a person to leave a church just as there are negative reasons.

nerissa on July 01, 2018:

If many people (including old and new members but already invested years as well in the church) leave the church, do you tthink the problem is on us, the ones who left or bcos there might be something wrong on the way the church works?

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 20, 2018:

Fernando, I am so sorry to hear about your unpleasant situation. I could sense the hurt you are experiencing. Situations like this happen way too often.

My prayer has been for a long time that churches be pleasing in the eyes of God and be the ones Jesus is coming back for. Blessings to you as God leads you in the direction He wants you to take.

Fernando Aguilar on March 20, 2018:

I have been attending church at a different city for about for years with my girlfriend that I just got married a few months ago. It's been hard for me attending church with my wife family sense I been here at this city for four years I been treated wrong and have not been accepted as family. I really don't care if my wife family don't want me as a family member but the fact that they don't regard me or give me my place as a brother in Christ really bothers me. I don't want to have bitterness or hate.. I really don't... I'm a very happy person and out going to others. However my wife family her father is a minister and always tells me that he is going to let me teach at church about home grouping and will tell me that I'll will get to mc and direct the worship and all this hasn't been give a chance to practice and grow my gifts. At one time the pastor told me that I'll be sharing some of the teachings for the Bible groups and I saw a laugh and a smirk indicating that the ministers and pastor don't take me serious. I have done everything I can and confronted them... I really want peace in my heart and I don't want hurt my wife because I don't get along with there family. To keep the peace and to grow in my gifts I'm going to move to another church. I'm a man of God that God gave me to choose and I believe that God wants everyone to grow and be obedient to Him and our pastor but when there's no growth or opportunity to excise your gift and there's family problem and your tried.. you did the effort it's better to move for peace of everyone.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on January 23, 2018:

Thanks, Leah, for reading and commenting on this article. I responded to the e-mail you sent me.

Leah on January 23, 2018:

This is very powerful and necessary information for every pastor .but sometimes when a church is stil young and their are soo many projects people leave and all the burden is left to the pastors .

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on December 22, 2017:

Donell, thanks for reading and commenting. Your concern is a common one. Some churches are failing when it comes to treating faithful members fairly. More people are leaving the church because of lack of respect from leaders who should know better.

Donell hohnson on December 21, 2017:

I retired a few years ago. Got back into church for my soul salvation. I have been a member of this church many years.l just feel so unwanted and not accepted.You never get asked to participate in nothing.Members take ownership over duties. There is this one lady she does everything decorating inside and out. If anyone else do anything she is mad. I sing in the choir and can lead never asked. I support every aspect of the ministry. I want tobgo somewhere and use my gift.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on December 05, 2017:

Thanks, Jay C OBrien, for your comment.

Jay C OBrien from Houston, TX USA on December 05, 2017:

. . . the church is within yourself and not in any pope nor preacher, nor in any building but in self! For thy body is indeed the temple of the living God, and the Christ becomes a personal companion in mind and in body; dependent upon the personality and individuality of the entity as it makes practical application of the tenets and truths that are expressed. #EdgarCayce reading 5125-1

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on December 04, 2017:

Patty, thanks for reading and commenting. I felt your frustration as I read your response to the article. Unfortunately, more and more people are leaving the church for the same reasons that you stated.

Churches are not like that used to be when the leaders would check on the sick. Perhaps things will change and church people will do what right. At least, that's my prayer.

Seek the Lord about whether to leave your church or not. I would suggest you have a conversation with your pastor.

I am also on Facebook.

Patty on December 04, 2017:

Thank you for this articail

My famliy and I are going through a rough time .

At our church they don't let you grow and don't let you use your talents plus I had someone to tell me I lost my testimony out of judgement of me .I have been through alot just 2 years ago my husband suffered a stroke and no one reached out to him when he came home ,we also hadn't had any one from church to visit with us .I was wondering is this a sign to leave ?

Feeling lost I am on Facebook

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 31, 2017:

Thanks, Jay, for reading my article and responding. It has prompted me to check out some of your articles to read your thoughts on other things.

Jay C OBrien from Houston, TX USA on March 31, 2017:

Greetings, I left a very large and well established church because I do not like the Old Testament (OT). The OT is filled with stories depicting God as a Warrior, Killer, Fighter. The pastors of the church supported this depiction. I left because the Bible itself was wrong.

God is how Jesus described Him and how He lived: a compassionate Father, who taught Forgiveness, Love even your enemy, etc. The Bible is a collection of Old thinking and New thinking. We should separate the books of the Bible and accept only those books which depict God as Jesus described Him.

norine williams on February 11, 2017:

I have a problem with what "man" calls 'a church!' The Bible is our ‘example’ of how and what we are to do in this life. II Peter 1:3 says “According as his divine power hath given unto us ALL THINGS that pertain to life and godliness…” Therefore, EVERYTHING we need to know concerning “life and godliness” is in Scripture and “The Church” is no exception. Consequently, we MUST use Scripture to determine the definition of “The Church!”

If we’ve “studied” (II Timothy 2:15) Scripture, we know Jesus told his disciples he had to go away (John 14:1) but [paraphrasing] “not to worry he would send us “Help” (John 14:26). The “Help” came on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:2) which was The Holy Spirit! Jesus “Promised” the “Help” would “lead and guide us into ALL truth!” But FIRST He “commanded” the disciples to “wait” (Acts 1:4) for the “Promise” (John 14:26) which would give us “Power” (Acts 1:9) to be “witnesses” to the world! The disciples “believed” and “waited” with “prayer and supplication” (Acts 1:14) “with one accord” which came on the Day of Pentecost.

This is our “example” of how “The Church” was and should be established. Do modern day ‘churches’ do this? NO! That’s why we have over 33,000+ denominations in the US alone! MOST have not “obeyed” His *LAST* commandment to “wait” (Acts 1:4)! MOST have not followed the “example” given in Scripture. Therefore (as one Hubber put it) “RELIGION” has become” stale, lifeless, legalistic and powerless” and is the main reason “Faithful members leave the church!”

Without “obeying” his *LAST* commandment, I John 2:3-5 says “And hereby we KNOW that we KNOW him, IF we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him and keepeth not his commandments, is a LIAR, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth [ALL] his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby KNOW we that we are in him.”

Blessings

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on February 06, 2017:

wba108@yahoo.com, thank you so much for your valid comments. They seem to be in line with what I wrote in my article. My goal for writing the article was to bring awareness to top church leaders so they can evaluate why faithful members are leaving their churches. Hopefully, they will make the necessary changes so people will be more willing to stay.

I am an elder in my church and burnout has been one of my main concerns.

wba108@yahoo.com from upstate, NY on February 06, 2017:

As an elder in my own church, I can relate with the concerns you mentioned. The leadership in churches often invest more in people who do nothing than in those that have been faithful for years.

There's a lot to be said for nurturing relationships, many misunderstandings could be avoided if leaders and church members put relationships above even the work of the church.

I think your point about burnout is relevant, in almost every church it seems the same core group of people tend to do all the work. This is a sure recipe for burnout!

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on February 01, 2017:

celafoe, you are exactly right. I will add what you have said to my article. Thanks for the addition.

charlie from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans on February 01, 2017:

you left out the most important reason. they have been studying the scriptures and realize that what you call church is not part of the ecclesia of Jesus Christ and is an abominable work of men and not of God. In the new testament there is NO CLERGY, NO MAN IS "OVER" ANOTHER, ALL ARE EQUAL, AND GOD IS WITH US WE DO NOT HAVE TO GO TO A MAN MADE FAKE "CHURCH" PATTERNED AFTER THE ABOLISHED TEMPLE SYSTEM.