It happens. Just like when you decide you need to make a change and go to a new stylist ~ for one reason or another ~ there comes a time when you might need to break-up with your church.
As a pastor’s wife, I have been on the receiving end of plenty of break-ups. Some were sad but understandable. Some were silent and left us curious. And there were some that were loud and angry.
In honesty, they all hurt. At least a little bit. And maybe that’s why people leave church fellowships quietly. To avoid hurting feelings. That’s understandable. But the vacancy and disconnection in a body isn’t optimum.
If you’re connected in your church and find that a break-up is in order ~ there’s a way to handle it that makes the best sense for the Church as a whole. (And by Church ~ big ‘C’ ~ I mean the whole body of Christ including the next church you end up attending.)
The way I’ve seen it, seems there are three ways to handle it:
- Bravely enter into an obviously awkward conversation and notify someone on church staff of your intentions.
- Leave loudly and angrily ~ taking prisoners at the exit.
- Drift away silently, wondering if someone will notice. Grateful (or maybe even offended) when they don’t.
Obviously, #1 is the best choice. And the hardest. It’s never fun to walk into an awkward situation and present someone with startling news that might hurt their feelings. Hopefully, they’ll be big about it and listen compassionately. And they’ll give you their blessing. That’s the best scenario.
However, if they don’t … I urge you not to let their actions keep you from being the bigger man or woman. It’s always healthier to do what’s right regardless how the other guy handles it. If you must break-up, please make it amicable. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Finally, I need to say one more thing: This post is not a veiled attempt to get at someone. Or to make you feel bad if you’ve had a bad break-up … it’s just that I’ve never really heard anyone talk about how to handle it openly and honestly. I thought that maybe it would help if we talked about it.
Cause no matter which end you’re on … breaking-up is hard to do. ;)