When To Panic And When NOT To Panic When People Leave Your Church

CareyNieuwhof.com | 6/13/2014 | Staff
princia (Posted by) Level 3
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Most leaders I know fear losing people.

I do.

And I’ll bet you do.

After all, you spend a lot of your time trying to build your ministry.

Mission - Church - People - Eternity - Balance

When it comes to the mission of the church, it seems almost unthinkable to reach fewer people. Eternity really does hang in the balance.

And every person represents a potentially transformed life.

Organization - None - People - Impact

In any organization, none of us really want to reach fewer people or have less impact.

And yet, sometimes, one of the best ways to grow your ministry is to let the right people leave.

Thought - People - Part

It might kill you to entertain the thought of people leaving (it still kills a part of me).

But hang on.

People - Church - Organization - Thing - Times

Sometimes losing people in your church or organization is a bad thing. Surprisingly, other times it’s not.

Knowing the difference is critical to effective leadership.

Ways - Ministry - People

Paradoxically, one of the best ways to grow your ministry is to let the right people leave.

Like you, it bothers me every time someone leaves. And it should bother you.

Sociopaths - People

Only sociopaths don’t care when people leave.

Only sociopaths never care when people leave.

Deep - Time - Someone - Church

Deep down, it hurt so much every time someone left. I felt like I had let them down, like I left the church down, like I had failed.

I also felt as though if I had been a better leader, I would have been able to keep them.


For a season it hurt so much I pretended I didn’t care anymore. But I did. I do.

I realize some of this is irrational and much of it might be unhealthy, but it hurts when someone goes.

Fear - Time

However, if you let it fester, you’ll begin to live in fear all the time.

In fact, you can end up with people-pleasing as your main goal. You will lead in a way that you hope is going to prevent the greatest number of people from leaving.

That’s a terrible...
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