One sad reality of leading a church is that from time to time, people will leave.
Nobody likes that part of ministry.
And often, the reasons people leave your church are out of your control. People move, have different theological convictions, or get married to someone who is part of another church. There’s not much you can do about that.
But there are some reasons that people leave that you need to address.
Think through some of these reasons and ask yourself what your church can do to help more people stay connected.
Table of contents
They Got Out of The Habit
Over the last year and a half, many churches had to close their doors for a time. Some churches are still not meeting in person.
As a result, many members got out of the habit of going to church regularly.
And as we all know, the more people miss church, the easier it is to miss church.
Consider ways to reach out to people who haven’t been in service for a while. Create a well-thought-out process to engage those people.
We recorded another episode on this topic: How To Build The Perfect Church Visitor Follow-Up Process
No Clear Next Steps
Sometimes when people leave your church, it’s because they never really became a part of the church in the first place.
We think they were committed, but in their minds, they were never really bought in.
The fix is to ensure your church has a detailed next steps process that will help take people from visitors to fully committed members.
Once you have the process outlined, be sure to execute it. A plan that never actually happens doesn’t help anyone.
Never Found Their People
Personal relationships are the glue in churches. If people lack these connections, they will not stick at your church for very long.
For someone to be a part of your church family for any time, they need to have friends.
This can’t be relationships that only exist on Sunday morning.
For most churches, the solution is small groups. These groups need to be based on more than just bible teaching and prayer. They need to be places where real life is lived out. This is where real relationships are forged.
Becoming Too Political
In today’s climate, there is a constant push to turn our churches into places of political activism.
In many cases, your members will ask you to be more political. Our advice: Do the opposite.
You need to understand that your church is full of people who believe differently from you about politics. In today’s charged atmosphere, political disagreement often drives people out of their faith community.
This isn’t to say you can’t have your own political opinions. You can. The question you need to answer is whether sharing your politics in the church will help reach more people with the Good News of Jesus.
Connection To A Particular Staff Member
One of the most common reasons people leave a church is because a staff member has left. Often people feel a connection with a Pastor, Worship Leader, or Assisting Minister.
It is essential to make sure that your church is more than a particular connection personality.
People on your team will come and go. Often this happens for good reasons, like a new ministry assignment.
If you teach that your church is about more than one person, you can help mitigate some of the loss from those transitions.