Leadership is tough. And this season is no different. From changing dynamics in culture to circumstantial realities, leading others during the past 12-18 months has felt harder than ever before. The hot topics, divisive issues, and reactionary environment we’ve been living in has not made it any easier. Reflecting on the past year it seems as if we couldn’t go more than 6 weeks without a new issue arising, new lines being drawn, and a plethora of landmines needing avoided. Leadership in the church was no different.
The church is a unique reality. It has been called the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:25), the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27), a building, of which Christ is the cornerstone (Eph. 2:22), a chosen people (1 Pet. 2:9-10), and a family (1 John 3:1-2). All of these images should evoke a different emotion and response, that’s the intention. Even as we see the church depicted in ways designed to illicit positive emotions, the reality can be quite different. And this past year was no different, especially as people left, transferred, and joined churches. One of the toughest part of any leadership job, including church leadership, is when people leave.
“Here’s an important truth: people leave. It doesn’t matter what you do or what you don’t do. People can and will leave.“James Emery White
This is a hard truth. People can, will, and do leave the church. It’s rarely joyful. It’s often painful and hurtful. Yet it is a reality. This is not a phenomenon unique to our time or generation. It doesn’t take a pandemic or political upheaval or 21st century issues to cause people to leave a church. Yet it still can feel so personal. Which is why I appreciate James White’s observations and prescriptions for handling the truth that “People Will Leave Your Church“.
You may not be a pastor. You may not be leading an organization or large team. But if you lead anything, and most of us to some degree lead others, this article is a helpful scalpel to dissect our own hearts and responses when they do leave. What did you appreciate about the article? What did you disagree with? I always love hearing from my readers. And as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.
Until next time…