Over the weekend I discovered a new rumor about why I left a certain church some years ago. Yes, apparently people there are still talking about me years later.

I wish I could have told the congregation why I chose to leave, but the Holy Spirit told me to “go in peace” and I obeyed.

Unfortunately, the leadership didn’t like my reasons and apparently felt threatened. After all, I was highly visible in the church and people would ask questions about my sudden and unexplained departure.

People did ask questions, and they were given all sorts of false answers. Gossip and rumors prevailed and, as the saying goes, rumors generally grow deformed as they travel. Years later, the rumors are deformed into a state that is utterly ridiculous.

For all the many articles about how not to leave a church the wrong way, can we take a moment to explore what not to do when someone leaves a church?

I’m not the only one who has been chased down with ugly rumors after leaving a church. I wrote a post on my Facebook page asking for examples and many people shared stories of how hugs turned into hate when they decided to move on. How that must grieve the Holy Spirit!

Pastors, attacking people for leaving your church reflects poorly on you. Your congregation wants a loving shepherd who blesses rather than curses (see James 3:10). When people decide to leave your church, don’t tell them they will lose their anointing and miss their destiny.