Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Should-I-Stay-Or-Should-I-GoThe words of the band The Clash have been in my mind for a while now.

Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go, there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know

 Now while this song is about a relationship and really has nothing to do with discerning God’s will, it is an interesting question to ponder. We all know that God has a plan, and our lives are just a part of it. We know that this plan could involve us staying where we are or moving to parts unknown. Sometimes it can be difficult to know where God is leading, and so the question is how do we know? Should I stay or should I go?

There is never a good time to leave. If things are going good, you feel as if you will be missing out if you leave. If things are going badly, you feel like you are just giving up on something that is difficult. However, there are times where God leads us to leave. Sometimes it is when things are good, and sometimes it is when things are bad.

It is important to ask yourself, how is your relationship with God? Be honest! If your devotional life and your relationship with God are strong, then it makes it easier to hear the voice of God. Things will always be awkward. Everyone will either be sad or happy that you are on your way out. Are you leaving or hesitant to go based on Faith or Fear? Either way it is important that you trust God. Sometimes we are fearful of the successes of ministry. We feel as we are not good enough or we do not know if we can sustain things. Other times we are fearful of moving on to the unknown, we might not know how our family will like the new environment, or if we will even be able to support them. Just remember, that no matter what happened or will happen, God is bigger than the situation. Don’t wait for the perfect situation to move, because there are no perfect situations, perfect churches, or perfect people. Sometimes God can lead us to a place that is completely different than what we might have in mind for ourselves. However, the grass is not always greener on the other side. Often the best church is the one we just left.

So how do you know when it is time? Insight can be found in a number of ways.

  • Alignment of circumstances
  • Counsel of others.
  • Analyzing the pros and cons of the options by using discernment and wisdom.
  • Through insight from Scripture and the Holy Spirit

What do I do if I am supposed to stay?

Maybe you have lost your passion and your attitude is heading south. Ask God to renew and refresh your vision. Sometimes you need to be refreshed yourself. Perhaps you need to take some time off and just enjoy time with God and your family away from the humdrum of church work so that you can come back with fresh ideas.

Okay, so what if I am supposed to leave?

First, above all, trust in God. Leaving can be exciting, but it can also be scary at the same time. Sometimes the move involves packing up your family and moving somewhere completely different. Second, remember to leave on a good note. Do not leave with a bitter taste if your mouth and do not burn any bridges in the process. Act in Christ-like manner, and finish strong. You might not ever see any of those people again, but how you leave a church can follow you.

Remember that being called to do God’s work is to be obedient to the ongoing direction of the Lord’s leading in your life. Sometimes following God’s will involves us becoming uncomfortable and sometimes it is for us to leave an uncomfortable situation.

Just remember the words of Jeremiah 29:11:
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Author: Robert Gifford

Robert currently serves as the Minister of Technical Arts at First Baptist Church of Lafayette and a Masters student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary studying Worship. With over 10 years in ministry, he brings a unique perspective combining years of experience leading worship, serving in media/tech arts ministries, and advanced study in church music and worship.

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