It is a major challenge to leave one church and join another, but there are some key success factors on both sides that can help you.
I already mentioned How to start at your new church. We basically did these without the list when we switched churches last year and it worked well.
Also see How to leave your old church for some more good advice. We did those things as well. Having been there for 15 years, we had a lot of very good friendships that we wanted to maintain — even though as a matter of conscience I couldn’t worship there any longer.
I heard from a third party that our former pastor said we left in the most gracious way he had seen, which told me that I probably wasn’t mean enough ;-). I say that not out of self promotion but to point out the importance of a clear exit strategy. I spent a lot of time thinking and planning how to leave without burning any unnecessary bridges. We tried to tell our small group friends and then immediately told the pastor so he wouldn’t hear it from others first.
One thing the link mentions is to “kindly and honestly answer the question ‘Why did you leave?'” I tried to be simple, thorough and accurate when answering that for the pastor and anyone else who asked. I gave the pastor the full list and more context. I didn’t want to nitpick or be spiteful, but I also didn’t want to pull any punches on the main reasons we were leaving. It is a win-win situation when you do that: Either they take the constructive criticism and make positive changes, or they ignore it and validate why it was wise for you to leave. With others we didn’t know as well I gave them a shortened version (some as brief as “creative differences”).