See (Part 1) for more info...
People are going to leave your church. That is just a fact. We preach to the parade. So what do you do when they leave? Here are a few final thoughts:
3) Tell them it is OK for them to leave
We talked last time about not getting mad and this continues that idea. It is important to let people know that is OK for them to leave. That sometimes it is just not the right fit. Free them up to go! Don't try to guilt them into staying. Tell them, "God took care of things before you guys came and He will take care of things after. He took care of you guys before our church and He will take care of you after you leave our church. That is the beauty of the church. You can find one that fits if ours doesn't. Our church isn't for everyone and we know that." In other words take the pressure and the shame they might feel off them and let them know it is OK. No one is going to get hurt here :-)
4) Send them off with your blessing!
Shock the socks off of people by sending them off with your blessing. Say a quick prayer with them as they enter this new stage in their walk with Christ. Send them out with a blessing and something funny will happen. Give it 6 months, a year... and you might see them again. (As a side note never let them, as a rule of thumb, back into a place of power or leadership if they do...)
People are going to leave. Let them leave well. 1) Don't get mad and upset! 2) Don't chase after them! 3) Tell them it is OK for them to leave! 4) Send them off with your blessing!
One final idea that you will have to figure out for your setting. We don't send people out on a Sunday morning. Our services are always about who is coming and not here yet, not about who is leaving. For us it just doesn't send the right message to guests who are checking out the Suncoast that Sunday. Have some people close to them say good bye in some other setting if they were a key leader.
Let them leave well and you can keep things like this from becoming negative situations that might hinder your growth. Straight ahead!