Over and over I am hearing of people who have chosen to leave my former church. Some leave for the same reasons we did. One person recently let us know they left. This person really tried to work it out, but just was seeing problems with YouthFront involvement and the P.E.A.C.E. plan from Rick Warren all over the place in the church. No amount of talking or warning was enough so this person left.
Others are still attending and thinking of leaving. They either see the emergent (or emerging) influence or the stand the pastor is taking against “resisters” that shows a lot about the heart of that pastor. They stay for various reasons, either family that still attends or giving it a chance to change…or for ministry obligations. They stay, but they won’t sit silent forever.
There are always those who leave for inconvenience, or because small groups aren’t meeting the needs they thought would be met. Some fall through the cracks and feel out of place because no one has reached out to them. Some want to have family service instead of all the seperation between generations. Some are frustrated with the programs and call to get invovled constantly.
Busy church can be hard on families. All of these issues, though they are exactly the same as “I left because I believe the church was teaching things that are not focusing on Christ” are still related. They are the fruits of these type of churches…seeker friendly wears thin very quickly. Small groups with improper teaching can leave people feeling empty. What about when men and women in the small groups aren’t really growing and have conflicts? All of this comes from church entertainment, program driven churches. The flock bleeds itself out the back door. But if you listened to some pastors, this is proof things are working according to plan.