1. With patience, pray and seek God's will in the decision. If you are married it is vital that you are in agreement with your spouse and that you pray for this direction together. God does give the direction we seek, even if we don't like the answer.
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, Who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.
The secret here is to wait on God and not make a rash decision that could potentially hurt others as well as yourself.
2. Take some time to make sure you get to the root of the issue. Is God really driving this thing or is it something else? Is this a preference issue? Are you angry or frustrated with somebody? Is there a larger problem? Is there something in your own life that needs to be brought before the Lord and worked out with Him? See if you can set up a time to talk with your pastor or another staff member and share your heart. They have been on this spiritual journey with you and may be able to offer some needed insight into the situation.
One warning as you examine this though; be careful not to turn this into a gossip session between well meaning friends. If you have an issue with a person, we are given a Biblical directive to resolve it (Matthew 18:15-19) and to work towards reconciliation with each other (Matthew 5:23-26). Unity within the church is something for which Christ prayed. We need to do all that we can to resolve conflicts in the Body of Christ, particularly within the local body where we serve and have been served.
3. Ask yourself: Is God calling me to a deeper level of commitment? As Christians we are all called to a deeper level of service and giving. The feeling of discontentment may be because God is calling you to a deeper level of service within your own church which can be pretty overwhelming at times. I know many pastors who initially ran from their call to ministry it because it can be very intimidating. The areas where you see room for improvement in the church may very well be the exact place God is calling you to extend your personal ministry within the church. The fact that you consider that to be such an important issue is a sign that you have a passion in that area. It doesn't mean you are called to walk in and take over, but you may be a part of the missing piece that could help take your church to the next level in that particular aspect of it's ministry. Why not work with the leadership to be a part of the solution?
4. Ask yourself: Am I too involved and in need of a break but just don’t know how to tell anybody? Burn out is a serious issue and must not be taken lightly. (I wrote a post on it here.) Burn out paves the way for a sense of dissatisfaction to descend upon us and if we don't get it settled we will only carry it with us to the next church. This is a very common occurrence and it is important to be sure that you critically evaluate your heart and desires in this before you make any changes.
5. While you are looking elsewhere, continue to tithe at the church you are leaving. Matthew 6:21 says “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Not only does your former church count on your tithe, your discomfort there does not preclude the responsibility and discipline of tithing. As you continue to search, God will let you know when to start giving to a new church should He lead you to attend elsewhere. Should you decide to stay, then at least that portion of your relationship wasn't severed.
Take some time to consider these 5 things, what would you add, what would you take away from this list? What are the potential pitfalls anyone facing this decision might face? Tomorrow I will continue on this topic with 5 Things NOT to do if You Choose to Leave a Church.