One frustration I have had in ministry is watching people come to church, get excited for a time, then disappear. You spend energy and heart on people, grow to love them and get excited about them, and suddenly they are nowhere to be found. These people don’t transfer to another church. I’m okay with that if it helps them better grow in their relationship with Christ. I’m talking about people who quit going to church altogether.
What happens to them?
I’ve found the same 7 reasons repeated continually. Perhaps you have seen this too.
Here are 7 reasons people disappear from church:
Burn out - These people came out of the gate too strong in the church. They showed up, got excited, and signed up for everything. They got so busy doing church they failed to enjoy being the church.
Injury - People inside the church can be cruel. These people experienced some of those people and they couldn’t get over it.
Distractions - These people got distracted by seemingly good things. Over time, their lifestyle of attending becomes the habit of not attending.
Life change – These people had a lifestyle change, such as divorce or re-marriage, or they move to a new community and never connect with a church.
Mistakes - These people messed up…they made a mistake and the place that should dispense grace appears to refuse it. Many times this is more perception than reality and based on the way a person feels about themselves, but sadly sometimes it is reality.
Power struggle – These people had an agenda and when it wasn’t met and when they couldn’t overpower the system, they left.
Immaturity – These people never grew spiritually; there was never any depth to their faith, so church soon became a chore rather than a joy.
Pastors, is this frustrating to you? How do you address these issues?
What other reasons would you add to my list?