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This podcast is about frictionless relationships, not abusive ones. It would be the height of unkindness and manipulation to ask an abused person to go back to their abusers to “talk it out.” People who only have experiences with controlling relationships may interpret the point of this podcast as authoritarian, heavy-handedness, which would be them mapping their experience over what I’m saying rather than hearing what I mean.
The specific point that I want to tease out in this episode is communicating with your leadership before you leave. I have written about other aspects of “leaving a church,” which you can read from the list at the top of these Show Notes. In this episode, I want to deal with one specific point, which is showing honor to those who have invested in your life before you leave.
Let me illustrate. When I was a pastor, there were instances when folks would approach me and say something like,
Hey, Rick, we’ve been praying about attending another church, and this is our last Sunday. Thank you for serving us, but it’s time for us to move on. Any thoughts you have for us?
In this illustration, there was no friction in the relationship but a friendship between us. Here are two more examples of what I’m saying:
Hey, mom, I’ve started dating this guy. What do you think?
Hey, pastor, I got a job in Wisconsin, and we’re leaving next week.
The question that I want to tease out in this podcast is Paul’s language in Romans 12:10 about outdoing one another in showing honor. Paul is not talking about competing with each other but about being out in front, which is a matter of being a biblical leader. In this case, you want to lead in showing appreciation.
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor (Romans 12:10).
Here are the three situations of my friends who have left or are in the process of leaving. As you can see, each situation is different, but all three of them must wrestle through what it means to show honor, as much as it depends on them to do so (Romans 12:18).
I’m not suggesting that you have to stay anywhere. I’m not saying that your reasons for leaving are invalid. My desire in this episode is to help anyone who falls into the first eleven categories I have mentioned. If any of these are tendencies with you, please address them.
Before you stay or leave, you want to make sure that you have done appropriate self-assessment to ensure that you’re operating with the purest possible motives. We live in an “unfriend-you culture,” where all you have to do is tap a button to remove a “friend.” This cyber habit can become a real-world habit quickly.
To be a Christan leader, you must have a broad understanding of the mistakes, pitfalls, and shortcomings of weak Christian leadership. The gospel-empowered person has nothing to fear, hide, or protect. If you’re confident in Christ, you should be free to explore decision-making biblically.
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Rick Thomas leads a training network for Christians to assist them in becoming more effective soul care providers. RickThomas.Net reaches people around the world through consulting, training, podcasting, writing, counseling, and speaking.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology, and in 1991 he received a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, CA. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).