'Graduation Season': Stories of 10 Theological Graduates Who Ever Left Ministry

Inside Changchun Church
Inside Changchun Church
By Josiah LiAugust 13th, 2018

With a batch of theological students graduating from seminary and going to the threshing floor, there are some other theological students have left the church for various reasons.

Below are stories of 10 theological students who ever left the church service. Some of them are young people in their twenties and thirties and some are middle-aged priests. Let's listen to their lives of studying theology, serving in the church and leaving the church.

The Whirlpool of Money

An old preacher who is more than 50 years old has left the church for many years. However, he still has an eagerness to serve in the church.

This preacher was baptized in 1986. His father was a preacher and his home was a church before. In 1999, he gave up his highly paid job and spent three months in Bible training. He said, "At that time, I felt that there was nothing could stop me from serving. Even if someone forced me with a knife, I couldn't stop myself from serving."

With a solid foundation of faith, plus three months of Bible training, he began to serve in the church. He was mainly responsible for the new church building in 2005. He had four or five years of full-time service in the church. 

After years of hard work serving in the church, he encountered a series of things and gradually fell into the vortex of money. First, it was MLM (Multi-Level Marketing). Then his elder son was in a serious car accident, in which the driver escaped. And he had a serious illness. Recently, the house was decorated which cost a lot of money......

In recent years, the preacher has been working with people to set up breakfast shop, and the income is not bad. However, with his current annual income, he reckons it will take another five or six years to pay off his debts, and he will be almost sixty then.

The preacher says he is not able to return to the church to serve full time now, because in that case he will not be able to pay off his debts. If he doesn't return to serve in the church he will feel anxious to face the bleak situation of the church.

Having experienced many difficult things, the preacher said he had always believed in God's care. Recently, he had a piece of good news. His breakfast shop moved to someplace near the church. He had more opportunities to attend church parties and he even took part in serving the church's compliments.

Give Up Church Service for Love

A young brotherhood preacher was initially very religious with high pursuit. After he finished theology, he chose a place to start new churches. At the same time of evangelization, he also made some fruit selling businesses, so that economically, he was also sufficient.

This theological student has been pursuing a school girlfriend, as long as it is winter and summer vacation, he would go to accompany his girlfriend. Together, they travelled to many places. Last year, the preacher put aside everything-including his pioneer Church and went to the city where his girlfriend lived.

Husband Worked for the Family, Wife Continued to Serve

Both husband and wife of this family were theological students. The wife studied theology for two years, and the husband studied theology for five years. When they have no children, both the husband and the wife served in the church for three years.

After the birth of the child (premature birth), family expenses had increased a lot. The husband had to go out to work to earn money to support the family. The wife continued to serve in the church.

The wife said that when the church people saw young people believing in Lord like them, the church people cherished them very much and recommended them to the Theological Seminary. After graduating from theology, they served in the church without wages, but occasionally were given a little subsidy.

The husband's monthly salary is 3,500 yuan, which is still a little tense for maintenance of a family's livelihood. The wife is still worrying about the future.

Lack Scope for Abilities in the Church

The single young theological girl student has just graduated in May this year. Her seminary wanted her to stay as a teaching assistant, but she was worried about her home church as well as her marriage so that she insisted on going back to her hometown. However, after returning to her native churches, her seminary was not recognized by the herdsman and she seldom had the opportunity to serve.

This theological student has studied theology for three years in total. From 2013 to 2014, she studied a year of theology for basic biblical knowledge. In the middle two years, she worked hard for material pursuit. However, her heart was still empty, so that she decided to continue her studies of theology, and she began studying theology for another two years since 2016.

At present, she cannot serve in the large church in her hometown. She can only serve at a gathering place of less than ten people. She is currently teaching in a training agency, and she wants to find a flexible job for herself. It is best to run a baking shop to communicate the gospel with some people.

Seminary Does Not Allow Teachers to Start Classes Privately

This holy music teacher in the seminary is deeply loved by many students. He has been serving in the seminary for many years. Even if the pay of the seminary is only one thousand or two thousand yuan, he is still willing to serve.

Because of the need to take care of his cancer mother, this holy music teacher, while serving in the seminary, started a music training class which was unacceptable to the seminary. Eventually, the teacher chose to give up his seminary service and continue to run music classes on his own. He charged very little for the church's followers. At the same time, he chose to take part in volunteer service to help the church train the holy music talents as well as form bands.

Leave, for Failing to Achieve the Wish to Be a Church Successor 

Nearly 30 years ago, a young man at the age of more than 20 entered a church where the majority were the elderly. The old clergyman of the church was very pleased and he recommended the young man to study theology and promised that the young man would be responsible for the church after his graduation.

At the end of four years of seminary learning, the young man returned to the church but failed to become the head of the church. He was tremendously hit. What's more, his sermon was not recognized by believers so he left the church downright.

Ten Years' Teacher in Seminary Went into Business

A talented clergyman in the seminary had a very little salary so he chose to go into business after ten years of teaching. The clergyman has a good logical mind and a good style of writing. After leaving the church, the clergyman who was good at mathematics and physics started a training institution in an economically developed city. Over the past ten years, the training institution had reached a scale of having dozens of employees.

Be Squeezed Out Because of Relationship Problems

This thirty-year-old sister who had studied theology for three years fought in the church in the town she served and was eventually pushed out.

After leaving the church, she came to a big city to live. In a church in this city, she was appreciated and became a positive volunteer in the church.

Leave the Church for the Sake of Sin

A very eloquent clergyman had affairs and had illegitimate children after years of service. The church workers and believers could not accept this. The clergyman had to leave the church's service.

After More Than 20 Years of Working, He Gradually Returned to the Church to Serve

25 years ago, a young brother of theology who had studied theology for a year gave up his church service and went out to work to make money, considering the economic pressures of marriage and taking care of his parents, and many other aspects. In the early years of his work, he was too busy to attend the party.

In recent years, he came to work in the city where he studied theology. One clergyman who ever taught him communicated with him and encouraged him to participate in the service of the church. Gradually, he began to participate in the service of many church posts: leading a cell group, reception, and sharing the Word of God in prayer gatherings...... Recently, the theology student who worked for over 20 years is considering returning to serve in his hometown churches.

- Translated by Sun Xiaowen

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