As a church leader, you know that each person in your congregation is valuable. You hope that each person will want to grow spiritually as a part of your church family. But you realize that people come and go. Every church will have losses, and it’s inevitable that some folk will leave the church despite its best efforts to help them.
Yet, even though you realize that people come and go,
you’d like to cut down on the “going” as much as possible.
Is your church intentional in its efforts to retain the people
who have come through your doors? What can your church
do to reduce the number of baptized members
who drift out the back door?
This issue of Elder’s Digest
places special emphasis on nurture
and retention. We understand that
the church has invested a lot of time
and money to gain new members,
but now we have to discover creative
and consistent ways to keep them
in. Why are people leaving the
church and what can you do
to prevent it?
You may find that the
majority of those leaving your church are part of a specific demographic. Are you
losing young families? Senior adults? Families with teens?
Young adults? Knowing where the loss is occurring helps
you to understand why the loss is happening, and how
you can create the right solution.
Your church could be losing people because of differences
in perception between leaders and the people;
the two groups might see things very differently! Leaders
can lose touch with what people are really experiencing in
their church and in their lives. Here are some areas where
leader/people disconnects can occur:
• Vision: Is leadership casting a clear vision? Are people buying in?
• Worship: Are the worship services drawing people together or alienating them?
• Relevance: Do people feel that their leaders know their needs and understand their struggles?
• Spiritual health: Do leaders know if their people are
While any combination of these issues could be involved,
knowing whether it is mostly a matter of process,
personnel, or perception gives you a place to start in improving
retention and nurturing in your church.
May the reading of this magazine help you to discover
new ways to nurture and retain people in your church.