Church Membership

RogerThat

Well-Known Member
Hi all,
I am ready to pull the plug on my current church membership. I need advice on the best way to do so.
My husband and children will still be attending the church I want to leave (well, my kids can either go to my church with me Sunday AM or do Youth Group at my church--one or the other but they will attend both churches to keep the peace in my family).
How do I go about this? Do I have to formally withdraw by letter? Just stop attending? Join my new church and move the letter?

Advice?

ETA: I want to avoid conflict and drama. There are a lot of people there I care about, including the person who I will need to reach out to. Do I say my reasons are personal and leave it at that or come right out and say it is because they are too liberal, politically and theologically for me?
 
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Goodboy

On my way up!
This to me is one of those individual things as there is no best answer, so I would suggest you review all the replies and see which one works best for you.

That said....

The first small church I went to after I got saved did not have a formal membership, but if you attended more than say 4 months, it was assumed that you were a member. Well there were several reasons that my wife and I decided to leave, but there is no need to go into that. As I was actually the president of the board and good friends with the pastor, I felt that I owed him an explanation as to why I was leaving and did not want to just stop showing up.

So I rehearsed in my head what I would say and how I would gently explain my reasons. So when church service ended, I asked the pastor could I speak with him for a minute. He agreed and sat down next to me looking concerned. So I told him that my wife I had decided to no longer attend the church. To my surprise or maybe even shock, he just stated "I understand". Understand? Understand what? I hadn't told him any reasons. I was so happy that the conversation was over, that I just got up and left after that! To this day I have no idea why he thinks we left.

Well I have been to at least 10 other large churches since then, but as I was not involved in any programs or outreaches, I just left and don't really think anyone noticed. So I guess for me if it is a small church I might speak to the pastor, but if it is a large church I would just stop attending, in less I was involved in some activity where they would miss me.

That's my too cents, but again I don't think there is any specific way it has to be done. :)
 

RogerThat

Well-Known Member
This to me is one of those individual things as there is no best answer, so I would suggest you review all the replies and see which one works best for you.

That said....

The first small church I went to after I got saved did not have a formal membership, but if you attended more than say 4 months, it was assumed that you were a member. Well there were several reasons that my wife and I decided to leave, but there is no need to go into that. As I was actually the president of the board and good friends with the pastor, I felt that I owed him an explanation as to why I was leaving and did not want to just stop showing up.

So I rehearsed in my head what I would say and how I would gently explain my reasons. So when church service ended, I asked the pastor could I speak with him for a minute. He agreed and sat down next to me looking concerned. So I told him that my wife I had decided to no longer attend the church. To my surprise or maybe even shock, he just stated "I understand". Understand? Understand what? I hadn't told him any reasons. I was so happy that the conversation was over, that I just got up and left after that! To this day I have no idea why he thinks we left.

Well I have been to at least 10 other large churches since then, but as I was not involved in any programs or outreaches, I just left and don't really think anyone noticed. So I guess for me if it is a small church I might speak to the pastor, but if it is a large church I would just stop attending, in less I was involved in some activity where they would miss me.

That's my too cents, but again I don't think there is any specific way it has to be done. :)
Thank you both for your replies. I was tempted to just stop going, however I think it would put a weird burden on my husband to have to explain why I wasn’t there anymore each Sunday. I’m just trying to find the most diplomatic way. Although, there have been a few families where the spouses went to different churches so it may not be an issue. I may be overthinking it, especially in this time of Covid we were not even meeting as a church body right now.
 

Batman

Well-Known Member
"ETA: I want to avoid conflict and drama. There are a lot of people there I care about, including the person who I will need to reach out to. Do I say my reasons are personal and leave it at that or come right out and say it is because they are too liberal, politically and theologically for me?"

With your added comment about the church being liberal (politically and theologically) I would definitely just join a new church and then have them send a membership transfer request to your former church. If you start getting contacted by former church members just tell them you left due to the liberal leanings, whether they like it or not. We've had to leave a church for the same reason and were treated a lot like having gone to a cult or just ignored and not contacted at all (other than if we ran into someone at a store or cafe).

I'm one for avoiding conflict and drama.............unless it's brought to my face or phone or PC or doorstep and cannot be avoided any longer.
 
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