When people leave

by Pastor Bill Metzger
(Cary Illinois UAW )

I've been in parish ministry for 30 plus years. It still drives me crazy when people stop coming or leave. How do you cope with this?

Comments for When people leave

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It's hard but God has a purpose when people leave.
by: Anonymous

It hurts because you are investing your time effort and love into the lives of others. My OH and I went through this, we would spend time and energy ministering into the lives of others only to see them leave at the drop of a hat!

It's good to remember that you can't control the decisions others make about coming to church. The reality is some people will church hop, others will leave for valid reasons, some will be offended. You just can't control their reactions but you can control your reaction and how to respond to each individual.

We always believed in releasing people and blessing them if they are called to go elsewhere. We would follow up those that just left or were offended. But honestly most don't come back, look at it as God doing a new work and pray for the people that are supposed to be in your church to be there.

Sometimes God moves people on, he has a purpose that we don't always see. Remember he sees the bigger picture, trust him :)

by: slowbutsure

I know what you mean. When you have an answer please tell me!

I think you get the sense that Paul felt the same. Although it does depend on the reason people leave.

I don't mind if people leave because they have a strong sense of the Lord calling them onto something else in ministry. But when people leave to chase a better job, or a better place to live - it sends me spiralling down.

And when you invest time in people, and genuinely befriend them and they see nothing in leaving - man it hurts. I try so hard not to be ungraceful. I haven't always managed it.

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