Leaving Church #2: Unanswered questions

[ This post is the second post in this series.  ]

Leaving Church series: Intro 1, Intro 2, Part 1, Pt 2, Pt 3, Pt 4, Pt 5, Pt 6, Pt 7.

2. Too many unanswered questions

[Added: when I’m teaching a class, sometimes I feel pressured by a time limit to just get through the planned lesson and I try to answer the occasional question that comes up. There have been times when a flurry of questions arise but I just didn’t have the time because time was up.  In cases like this, I wonder if I should I just skip the necessary materials and just answer their questions? ]

Some people were brought up in church and have attended for years or even decades but have never found answers to their questions.  I wonder if they ever will.  Leavers of Church leave because they are not able to ask the tough questions that have always troubled them. Simple answers and clichés about God and the bible are given because it’s easy to take our people for granted–thinking that they will not leave the church…but really deep inside, they are wondering if there is more to this Christian religion.

  • Are there deeper answers to my spiritual, emotional, and personal problems?  Is God really listening?
  • What happens when I pray?
  • Am I really loved by God?
  • Are miracles and healing really possible?
  • Why do I have to continually suffer for so many years?
  • Who is God really and how can I know God?

I remember sitting in Sunday school myself as a 12 year-old, looking up at the Sunday school teacher, and wondering if Jesus really was who he said he was… and if God was real… or if this Christianity stuff was all made up.  These are simple but common questions any young person will wonder about but are very much afraid to ask because we would be seen as doubters.  Do we ask them what “dumb questions” they may have?  Do we skip the planned lessons and entertain these seemingly simple questions, or ignore them due to time constraints?

10 thoughts on “Leaving Church #2: Unanswered questions

  1. Exegete, I’m curious how you conduct your adult studies where interest actually increases, rather than decline, with time? That must be encouraging to have someone make progress in discovering freedom as a Christian. That’s awesome!

    When you allow any and unlimited # of questions and manage to come to the end of the bible class with the gospel, it truly is a challenge. I’ve often had to end the class midway through because time was up and we hadn’t ended with gospel. How do you do it?


  2. I never teach a Bible class with a time limit, specifically to allow any questions to be asked. My adult instruction classes last between 21-26 weeks. And interest always increases with time, so attendance never drops.

    I had a couple come to me, who had come out of a cult. When I told them to come to Bible class and ask questions, their response was “No, you don’t!” And I said, “I allow any question.” After attending Sunday morning Bible study for several months, she blurted out one morning in class, “You really do allow any question, don’t you?” Most people were surprised by her statement until she told the rest of the story.


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