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3 ways to leave the church

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • Michael

    4) Attrition. Don’t leave, slowly dying, until there is nothing left.

  • kls

    From the youtube keyframe I thought you’ll be doing shadow puppet. ;)

  • Mad =^..^= (AKA ccws)

    5) Get hung out to dry when a personal relationship with a staff member goes south.

  • Asada

    For now, i am hoping to find a small, part-time job so I can work on sundays and have a legit reason to leave. I cant just sit around at home all day if I am making money.

    In the end, I hope to do step number 1- just walk out. I will be missed, but by then, I will be out of my state starting my own life.

  • http://noiseinthevoid.wordpress.com/ Ben

    Just hop off the pew Stu.
    Find a new clan Stan
    You can enjoy Troy
    Just get yourself free

    Don’t make a big fuss Gus
    Flee all of the bleakness
    Don’t have to be PC
    Just get yourself free

  • http://brainatthedoor.blogspot.com Hugh

    Having failed to get the bullies to admit they could possibly be wrong my wife and I took way 1 and walked away. I had been at the church for all my 57 years and it took 9 months for anyone to contact me; none of the people I thought were my friends got in touch and none of those involved in pastoral care. This church prides itself on being friendly but the truth is something else.

  • http://Www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    What about the way where you get a phone call from the pastor on a Monday night telling you that he doesn’t see how you can keep going to the church. Been there. Not all methods of leaving the church are entirely voluntary.

    Also, I’ve tried the so called clean way of leaving and thus far it has never worked out to be so clean for me. It has been my experience that most pastors would prefer that you slip out quietly rather than talk to them about your concerns no matter how involved you might have been.

  • http://1minutedailyword.com Steve Martin

    Definitely staying.

    No reason to leave my church. We are a bunch of sinners who get along pretty well (not all the time – but who does?).

    We have a pastor who knows his job is not to put the spotlight on us and what we do…and not to tell us how to live out our lives in our Christian freedom.

    The Word of God is there. The sacraments are there. And we love each other, and have a lot of laughs together…and share some tears together, as well.

    I’m staying put.

  • Mitch

    4) Leave without really leaving. I had “left” church two years before I stopped attending.

  • http://mrhackman.blogspot.com Andrew

    I agree Mitch… I had left before I left… by the time my family and I actually left, nobody noticed. :)

  • http://triangulations.wordpress.com Sabio Lantz

    Fun Video, David. Still looking forward to a 10-minute video documenting you drawing and posting a cartoon. You have a fantastic presence.

    (1) The Swift way
    I did this both for the Church, a Zen temple, places of employment, Boy Scouts with my son and even a long term relationship. In all cases, those who I thought I had deep meaningful relationships with evaporated. There are other settings where I disappeared quickly and yet a few relationships persisted.

    I think it is important to see this “LEAVING” as much bigger than “Church” — it is a universal phenomena with similar patterns no matter which domain. Thinking like that makes it less personal — it explains all of us, and makes one have more realistic expectations in the future.

  • John

    i am with Steve Martin above there. i get along with my parish pretty well. but i’ve known people who left churches (mine and others) in all three of those ways, and a few times in the fourth described by Cindy there (which perhaps is the opposite of way 3?). interestingly, all of the times i’ve seen people elect way “C”, they are people who have some sort of “conservative” theological axe to grind and they started up their own new churches. so i guess “way 1″ is the “disaffected”, “way 2″ is the “liberal”, “way 3″ is the “un-liberal”? any thoughts on this totally unscientific generalization? if i’m right, should we liberals be learning something from the un-liberals?

  • http://www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

    John, do you mean to ask if us liberals should start being more conniving and secretly planning church splits? If there is a distinction there between liberal and not (and I seriously doubt there’s a want of scheming liberals, either), then “no, we shouldn’t”.

  • Andrea Lesko

    4th way: “smoke ‘em” with your last sermon. Bad idea, didn’t do it, but it’s another option.

  • Meg

    I am a NINJA. We went and lived overseas for a year and I guess everyone got used to us not being around, it was like they expected us to go really. Went back for one Sunday then no more.

  • Tom

    I just “slipped out the back Jack”

  • http://cerebrofucker.blogspot.com Darko

    Massive way. I started a ministry that is under development yet. Something small with no church or money, just people and nothing formal.

  • April

    I left in a mix of the messy and clean way.LOL I left one wed night, and never returned but I did e-mail the pastors and let them know why. A while after I left the pastors sat my parents down for a talk and told them they were no longer welcome to the church, because my parents wanted their own church eventually. They then told my parents to let my sister and her family they were no longer allowed either… Wonderful people…

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    wow april. sorry to hear that. common though :(


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