Getting Your Needs Met at Church

Anonymous asked:

What are good reasons for leaving your church? I’ve been at mine 7 yrs. It’s biblical and Scripture based and I really like the pastor. But it’s huge and I’m lonely. I have been trying to get into the young adult ministry for almost a year but no one has invited me to things or talked to me, altho i’ve provided my information a couple of times and attended some events. I don’t know if I just haven’t put myself out there enough or if my concerns are valid enough to leave this place.

I answered:

The purpose of a church is to meet the spiritual needs of its people. If that is not happening, you are totally right to leave. Some pastors would tell you that you have no right to leave a doctrinally sound church. They say that because it is easier to guilt someone into staying than to step up their game and do the (admittedly massively complicated) job they signed up for. 

Doctrinal soundness and the pastor not being a jerk are the minimum requirements for a church. You don’t get extra points for meeting those. The need for community is a totally valid and important spiritual need that the church is meant to meet. If you feel lonely in your church, something has gone wrong along the way.

As for your specific situation, the fact that your church has a young adult ministry actually puts it ahead of a lot of churches out there. Pretty much all churches are equipped to handle adults and the school age children of those adults, but a lot have a tough time with how to effectively minister to college students and young professional types.

So if your church has a young adult group that you might be interested in, I would advise you to give that a full shot before you go looking for greener pastures. If things have gotten to the point where you are thinking of leaving the church, it is time to abandon subtlety. You need to find one of the leaders of that ministry and say “I want to be involved in this group, how can we make that happen?” If you still don’t get a response, then it is definitely time to move one. Even if you get into that ministry, you may feel like there is something missing, and it might be time to explore other options, but this is worth a hail mary pass.

The church is there to meet the spiritual needs of its people, but it is the role of the people to make those needs known. Most pastors, or people running ministries, are busy right to the point of being overworked. If you try to project the image that you are doing fine, they are likely to assume that is the case and move on to someone who isn’t.  It is totally fair to expect your church to meet your spiritual needs, but it isn’t fair to expect them to guess what they are.


-Matt from The Bridge

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