Why, When & How to Leave a Church

If you are already a Christian living in Christchurch who is thinking about identifying with Redemption Church as your church family, it’s likely that you will be leaving an existing local church to come to ours.

While some Christians can change churches for the wrong reasons, others can change churches for the right reasons, but done in the wrong way.

We simply desire that individuals & families who would like to identify with Redemption Church as their home church, to do so for the right reasons, and for their transition to happen in the right way.

It’s for this reason we have included some principles below of why, when & how to leave a church which we hope will act as a helpful guide as you think through your decision.

For more comprehensive details, you are welcome to listen to the following audio teaching about:

Why, when & how to leave a church.

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    1. One reason that a Christian should consider changing churches is if another church better meets their spiritual needs.

    The following is a list of Scriptural needs with regard to being part of a local church:

    • The need to GROW SPIRITUALLY (discipleship) – [Matthew 28:18-20]
    • The need to have CHRIST-CENTERED RELATIONSHIPS (fellowship) – [Hebrews 10:24-25]
    • The need to be kept ACCOUNTABLE (leadership) – [Hebrews 13:17]
    • The need to be taught SOUND DOCTRINE (preaching/teaching) – [2 Timothy 4:2-4]
    • The need to SERVE ACCORDING TO GIFTING (ministering to others) – [Ephesians 4:11-16]

    2. Another reason that a Christian should consider changing churches is if current church you are part of is not seeking to function Biblically:

    The following is a list of essential elements of a Biblically functioning church:

    • Sound Biblical Doctrine [2 Timothy 4:2-4, Titus 1:9, Titus 2:1]
    • Fellowship [1 John 1:6-7, Romans 12:10, 1 Peter 1:22]
    • Communion [1 Corinthians 11:26]
    • Prayer [2 Corinthians 1:11, 1 Timothy 2:8]
    • The Centrality & Headship of Christ [1 Corinthians 1:23, 2 Corinthians 2:2]
    • Biblically Qualified Leadership [1 & 2 Timothy & Titus]
    • A Belief in the Sufficiency of Scripture [2 Timothy 3:16]
    • Discipleship [Matthew 28:18-20, 2 Timothy 2:2]
    • Evangelism [Romans 1:16, 1 Peter 3:15, 1 Corinthians 1:17]
    • Worship of God in Song/Music [John 4:23, Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16]
    • The Practice of Church Discipline [Matthew 18:15-17, 1 Corinthians 5]


    While there are reasons why a Christians should consider changing churches, the list below identifies reasons why someone should not leave a church:

    • Because they have been corrected or challenged
    • Because of information/gossip from others
    • Because someone offended them
    • Because the leadership won’t change the things they want changed
    • Because the leadership won’t promote their “pet-likes and dislikes”
    • Because they cannot do the things they want to do within the church
    • Because their children are bored
    • Because they don’t like the music
    • Because they don’t like the pastor
    • Because their friends have left the church
    • Because they do not believe they need to belong to a church
    • Because “God called them to leave” (when really He didn’t)


    • After prayerfully re-evaluating their reasons for leaving [Proverbs 16:3]
    • After seeking objective counsel from other believers (who are part of a church) [Proverbs 11:14]
    • After speaking directly to the church leadership to seek to resolve any issues, gain counsel, seek clarification [Hebrews 13:17]
    • After exhausting all options for potential reconciliation if a personal offence has occurred [Matthew 18:15-17]
    • After communicating clearly to the church leadership reasons for leaving, and when possible, with other members of the church [Ephesians 4:25]


    • With a willingness to engage in clear, Biblical communication.
    • With a conviction not to slander or gossip.
    • With a commitment to being truthful and transparent.
    • With the wisdom to know what to say, and what not to say.
    • With the humility to change their mind following communication/clarification of the facts [James 3:17]
    • With an eagerness to find a new church home as soon as possible [Hebrews 10:24-25]

We acknowledge that leaving one church to identify with another is no small task, so please know that the pastor-elders are happy to discuss this with you, whether or not you decide to make Redemption Church your church family.