Can be a hard topic because it’s a topic the deals almost entirely in the gray area, and can be highly subjective.
These are broad principles, and so each situation should be dealt with as a case by case issue.
When Not To Leave a Church:
Church is too big/too small.
A lot of big churches who learn to do things well.
If you want to leave because it’s too small, ask yourself why?
Is it because you want more programs?
Is it because you think the church should be filling a role for your family that you are biblically called to fill (e.g., Youth group, Sunday School, etc.)
Isn’t it possible that the fact you see a lack of something means you should consider filling that need rather than leaving?
Style of liturgy.
Racial/Socioeconomic demographic (e.g., “It’s too homogeneous, or not diverse enough).
These are non-biblical categories that have very little to do with the nature of what you should be looking for in a true/healthy church.
Church is not growing. (And what are you doing to help it grow?)
Church is changing.
Need to find out why it’s changing.
Is it changing for biblical reasons, or unbiblical?
If non-biblical reason (i.e., paint color, carpeting, different coffee, etc.) this is not a good reason to leave.
Someone spoke a harsh word. The pastor hurt your feelings.
No one esteems you like you think they should.
You were given counsel (maybe even bad counsel) by a pastor and it didn’t work out.
People (especially pastors) are finite as well.
Pastors are not your Savior, Jesus is. Pastors can’t predict everything that will come, nor can they “fix” your situation.
You’re not being used the way you think you should be used.
Example: you think your a good teacher, but no one seems to see your gift.
You think you should be an elder.
Rather, you should speak with your pastor as to why you’re not being used in the manner you think you should be.
Chances are, your pastor/elders have a perspective on your blind spots.
This could be redeeming because it could be an opportunity for you to grow in a certain area.
You’ve grown stagnant in your faith and feel you just need a change, or something fresh.
All this does is change the immediate superficial experience, but it’s on a timeclock.
The issue is within the heart, not in something external.
Show a lot of grace. No local church is perfect.
It’s a collection of sinners, seeking to grow in Christ. This assumes there will be weaknesses and sin.
The attitude should be to serve and help the church grow (in the unique way God has gifted you), not just find things wrong and blame everybody else.
Most people leave a church because of a consumer mindset, not because of a biblical reason.