I first heard about the site, Letters from Leavers from my friend Mark. The following description is from their website:
People leave churches for many reasons. Some leave frustrated and hurt. Some leave simply because they have moved out of the area. Some people even leave church because they see church involvement as a hindrance to their faith and spiritual growth. Whatever your reasons, we want to hear from you.
The creators of this website love the church, but we are also aware of its flaws. In fact, the church has disappointed us too (and truth be told, we’ve failed the church and people like you at times). It is our desire to create an open venue for those that have left our midst to tell us their story. We hope to learn from your insights, correct our mistakes, and become the kind of community Jesus intended us to be.
I think this will prove to be a great site. This provides a window into the lives and stories of those who have been disappointed with the church. It is many of these types of people who are finding their way into some emerging churches. I think it will be important for anyone going into the ministry to sit with these letters for a bit – let these letters speak to them about the state of many churches today…below are just a few paragraphs from a letter entitled: “I Have Been to a Church Where…”
I have been a part of a Church where a pastor planted a new church according to the denominational tradition. After doing things according to our quarter of a century old tradition for several years this community was absorbed into another that had been doing the same thing even longer. The pastor decided we couldn’t exist as a “church”. Failure to reinvent ourselves causes death.
I have been a part of a Church where after years of leading a congregation in a manner that was at one time considered to be revolutionary or at least evolutionary. The pastor heard from God about doing something else with his life. He asked the church if they wanted to continue in the fashion that they had been working but with a new pastor. Two-thirds of the congregation decided that it would be better to have nothing at all. So they dissolved. It is good to know when a group of people has run their course together.