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How People Leave Local Churches

Here are 20 ways people leave their local church:

1. People who come and go without anyone knowing. These people never really get plugged in to begin with. They don’t become consistent in their attendance, giving or service. They don’t establish relationships and therefore when they leave, very few people notice especially in larger churches.

2. People who are sent into a divine assignment into another territory. This usually takes place with prayer, the laying on of hands and sometimes financial backing and/or a team from the sending church.

3. People who physically move due to a job change or family status. Although churches and their leaders hate to see these people go, this is usually received with understanding and support.

4. People who feel their season is up at that church so they endeavor to leave and go to another church. If done in an appropriate manner, many times the leaders of the church will “release” such people. Not the same as sending them, but with a degree of blessing.

5. People who get offended by leaders or other believers, and instead of making an attempt to reconcile, they simply leave that church and search for another, often without saying thank you or goodbye.

6. People who decide to start their own ministry and endeavor to take some people from the church with them, otherwise known as a church split. This is, of course, frowned upon and creates great conflict.

7. People who have a calling to pastor a church or other ministry endeavor but get impatient in the grooming process and therefore opt to leave early and go on their own without being sent.

8. People who are proselytized or enticed to leave the church by people from another church due to better programs to minister to the needs of their family or more flattering ministry opportunities. They take the bait and leave the church.

9. People who lose their hunger for the things of God and simply stop going to church altogether. Perhaps some turn their back on God altogether but most are simply lethargic in their spiritual life and justify not going to church by their busyness in life or other factors.

10. People who get a revelation of the importance of personal relationships and small groups and therefore pursue an organic church experience in coffee shops or living rooms outside the organization of local churches. Some of these people are sincere while many harbor bitterness against leadership and organization as a whole.

11. People who have trouble submitting to authority for whatever reason leave the church when confronted by sin issues or relational conflict within the church. They’re good until they’re required to submit on a higher level and then they head for the door.

12. People who leave if they don’t get the ministry opportunities they hope for when they begin attending that church. When they determine they can’t manipulate their way into their desired leadership role, they look for another church where they can have the spotlight.

13. People who leave if they can’t buy power or positions in the church with their large pockets. They believe their large offerings should give them a greater ability to make decisions in the church, often by being on the church board.

14. People who leave the church when their pet sins or demons are addressed from the pulpit or counseling room. This is not to be confused by pastors who air dirty laundry, which violates confidentiality. I’m talking about those who don’t want to change and can’t stand the conviction of truth in their conscience so they leave to avoid dealing with their own sin issues.

15. People who outgrow leaders who don’t focus on their own spiritual growth, so they move on out of necessity.

16. People who are blessed by certain dimensions of Christ in the church, but who recognize and crave elements of 5-fold ministry that are missing. So out of hunger for more of God, they find a church that embraces the fullness of Christ instead of only 2 or 3 ministry graces listed in Ephesians 4:11.

17. People who appreciate a focus on winning lost souls to Christ, but have already been saved 555 times on Sunday morning and recognize their need for more meat. So they find a church where they can bring a fork and a knife to the table.

18. Pastors who step down from ministry due to personal sin issues or life’s challenges, or who quit the ministry altogether

19. Pastors or people who commit suicide

20. People who die of natural causes, disease or calamity

…food for thought

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