If there’s one thing we all know about our churches, it’s that people come…..and sometimes people go. For lots of reasons. Most pastors really struggle with this. At times, I have too. But, taking it personally or internalizing it as some sort of failure every time it happens is a miserable way to live. And frankly, it’s also probably a sign that you’re taking too much ownership for something that isn’t yours to begin with.
And besides…you know as well as I do that your church will never be the right church for everyone. In fact, trying to be will pretty much guarantee that you’ll end up reaching no one. Actually, you will. But trust me, you don’t want them.
Pastors…the best thing you can do is to just be very clear (right from the beginning) what your church is all about. The clearer you are about that, the sooner newcomers will be able to make a decision as to whether or not your church is a good fit for them. But listen…don’t be arrogant about it! Don’t say it in a way that makes your church sound like it’s “better than all the others” and therefore “it’s not right for everyone….because we’re so bad a$$.“ No….if you do that, you’re just an ass.
Leaving Churches (Pt. 1, for Pastors)
Scott Hodge, lead pastor of The Orchard in Aurora, Illinois, has been blogging about people leaving churches. His first post was directed to pastors. The second was aimed at people thinking of leaving their church. The third is for people arriving at a new church. They're good. I'll repost them here, but visit Scott's blog. There's a lot of good stuff there.