The Main Reason People Leave the Church — Rainer on Leadership #003

Podcast Episode #003


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In this week’s episode, Jonathan and I continue our discussion on church membership.

Last week we talked about what church membership is and what it means to be a church member—how it’s not just having your name on a roll somewhere, but being actively involved in the ministry and function of your local community of faith. This week’s episode deals with NOT being a church member. Specifically the main reason people LEAVE a church.

In an earlier post, I listed the following reasons people leave a church:

  • “The worship leader refused to listen to me about the songs and music I wanted.”
  • “The pastor did not feed me.”
  • “No one from my church visited me.”
  • “I was not about to support the building program they wanted.”
  • I was out two weeks and no one called me.”
  • “They moved the times of the worship services and it messed up my schedule.”
  • I told my pastor to go visit my cousin and he never did.”

Do you see the theme there?

Here are the five ways I recommend closing the back door in churches:

  1. Inform church members.
  2. Raise the bar of expectations
  3. Mentor members.
  4. Train members
  5. Encourage people to be in small groups.

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Resources Mentioned in this Episode


  • Heath says:

    Any chance you guys could print the text?

  • donna dawes says:

    Reading these articles with interest. Why is everyone looking to re-invent the wheel. Some
    of these problems have been gone over so many times and “new” solutions sought. Do
    you realize that the past can be constructive – history speaks to the present and the future.
    Not everything that “used to be” is bad, Thom.

  • Mae Williamson says:

    My heart is breaking. I don’t want to leave my church. My family and I have been there over 2 years. There is only a hand full of members that come and I only see them on Sundays. I don’t feel as if I am growing at all in Gods word because I am teaching myself and trying to teach my family. We have no bible study classes at the church, only one since I been there. I have ask the pastor more then three times about bible school or classes and get the same answers each time, I will get back with you or I was thinking about it. My family look to me to teach the bible. I don’t understand it my self ????. I use the internet or listen to programs and I pray that God help me because I don’t know if I am seeing or hearing the true word of God, then what make it even worst I go back and try and teach this to my family. It’s not about me as you say a sense of entitlement, it is about new members(babes) in the body of Christ that needs leadership! I read on the internet I have to own my own spiritual life and my growth spiritual is self taught. My family age range from the 60-80’s, We don’t have time to waste. We have been lost for many years.

  • Jeff Mitchell says:

    I feel your pain. I do believe the Holy Spirit will be there to guide you as you accept the mantel to be the “High Priest” of your home. As a pastor and bishop myself I certainly understand the “push” you are experiencing and the sense of urgency you are embracing. Please let me commend you for taking oversight and spiritual responsibility for your family members. Try this: pray specifically for God’s guidance in the scripture before you teach. Stick to the simple teachings of faith, and discipleship, get a good dictionary, concordance, and commentary and get serious…your pastor is letting you know he has no interest in teaching a Bible Class. Study like I said and next year (if not sooner) this time ask him to give you the class. Get ready in private through prayer and study and fasting if you can and God will reward you openly and bless your students eternally.

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