(I wrote this post in November 2015, and just found it in my draft folder, having never posted it. However, the – rather sarcastic but true-to-life – truths found in this post are so relevant to Christians today, who seem to leave churches over and over without honour and without love. It’s not Christians struggling to go the second mile, but actually not even bothering to go the first mile and do the things that any decent person would do!)
Here is a check-list to follow if you want to leave a church badly, set yourself up for a fall and find it difficult to find a new church:
- Meditate on the fact that you can do a much better job than the lead pastor of the church. It will make you really dangerous to be around. It will also disconnect you from the grace of God. Under no circumstances consider that people are not assigned jobs by God because they are the best, but because He chose and appointed them. Do not entertain the thought that you might possibly be out of order before God.
- Forget all about all the help the pastor and the church have been to you. That will make it easier to insult them to people.
- Get really irritated and react badly every time you are corrected. Forget that Jesus called Peter satan and Peter kept following Jesus, and get upset at the slightest correction to your character or behaviour.
- Make excuses for everything. Deny if you can, but if not, make excuses.
- Don’t keep your word – it will make everything you do in leaving badly easier.
- Never say AMEN or NOD when the preacher is preaching. It creates a bad atmosphere.
- Don’t ever ever take notes when the preacher is preaching (Personal note from 2016 – I have never been betrayed by someone who takes notes when I preach)
- Don’t tithe. Benefit from the church but don’t ever support it – a great way to create mayhem and imbalance. That will move forward into you when you start your ministry.
- Only attend the meetings you feel like attending. Especially if you are in church leadership.
- Before you leave, let everyone know that you are disappointed in the leadership and that you would have treated them a lot better had you been the senior pastor (It’s called doing an Absalom, look it up!)
- THIS IS VITAL: NEVER, EVER, EVER have an adult, grown-up conversation with the leadership of the church before leaving. Don’t do it. You might learn something, they might learn something, and if you are genuinely called to leave, you might leave well and leave blessed. NO – just stop coming, and don’t tell anyone what you are doing at all. That way when leaders are asked where you are, they look really stupid and like really bad pastors when they mumble “I don’t really know…” because they love you and won’t tell everyone “actually, he just walked off like a churlish 5-year old and won’t speak to me because he is clearly offended”. So it’s a win win for you. An added bonus of this is that when the leadership make contact with you to find out what is going on, you can paint them out as harassing you and further blacken their name and cause more chaos!
- Finally, a good passive-aggressive email to a bunch of random people in the church saying you are leaving for “reasons you don’t want to talk about” will cause maximum distrust and gossip among the people you send it to. Choose the people you send it to wisely, don’t send it to people loyal to the leadership. You can work out who are loyal because they are the ones growing spiritually!
By following this checklist you can ensure that you will sow so much negative seed that your future will be dark and futile. You cannot but reap what you sow.