Church Planting, Leadership

When People Leave the Church

One of the most difficult experiences for a church planter is letting people go. People you never thought would leave will leave for a multitude of reasons.

One Church has only held weekly services for six months, and we’ve seen half of the visitors leave because they were looking for a different type of church. One person called me names on the way out.

Here is a tough realization- people will leave your church. You will be tempted to convince some to stay. Others will attack you as they go, and you will be tempted to retaliate. Regardless of their reasons for leaving, you only really have one choice.

Bless them as they go.

Contrary to what some church planting “experts” tell you, you don’t need warm bodies to fill seats. You need people are passionate about fulfilling the vision and mission of the new church you are planting. People who passionately believe in your vision will multiple themselves.

People who do not will distract you, hold the church back and take other people with them when they leave. The longer they stay, the more toxic relationships they create. If they attack you as they leave, even the people who don’t leave will wonder if they’re correct.

When they leave, don’t let them make matters worse by dragging you into a conflict.

Let people go sooner than later. If they attack you, do not retaliate.

Just bless them as they go.


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