On Saturday, April 28th, about 40 men and women were kindly hosted by Malton Bible Chapel in Malton, Ontario. Together, we met to have an open discussion about why people leave the assemblies.
It was a busy day, packed with group discussion, table discussion, “hot seat” interviews and especially looking at what God’s expectations are of us. We learned from each other, but especially from Him.
The basis of the day’s focus was a “Why People Leave” survey that assemblyHUB sent out in late March 2018. We received 126 responses to the survey. For a summary, please see this PDF file.
The top 4 reasons people leave, based on the survey, are:
- Disagreement with leadership or lack of leadership
- Church not meeting personal or family needs
- Church is not changing with the times
- Conflict within the church or with other church members
The top 3 demographic groups leaving are:
- College / University Students
- Couples, with children at home
- Singles, not married
Throughout the day, we prayerfully sought to understand each of the top reasons people leave and discussed strategies for stopping the trends. The discussions and topics were many, but here is an example of some.
- As a leader are we heeding the Father, feeding His flock, ready to bleed for His flock
- Being a leader in a church requires high levels of commitment, sacrifice, understanding the state of each member of the flock. What time are we investing?
- When someone leaves the assembly, it is ultimately the leaders responsibility.
- Are we flexible to change as required, while holding to Biblical doctrines, principles?
- Our churches need to be a place where people’s needs are met. Do we know the needs in our churches?
- Do we know the flock well enough to anticipate when people may leave? Are we willing to leave the 99 to bring back the 1?
- We need to have a vision that our congregation can identify with, rally around and which help drive us forward.
- Are we trying to be Brethren or Biblical?
- Do I know why people leave my church?
- We need to have a sustained focus on developing and discipling our next generations.
- We need to tackle issues that are prevalent in the world today.
We wrapped up the day with a model that can be used in churches to understand the issues and improve the situation. We were finally challenged as leaders to persevere through the good times and bad.
Thank you to those who participated in the survey and those who met with us on April 28th. It was a good day, filled with honesty and optimism.
Stay tuned for our next Leadership Connect event, being planned for November 2018.