When People Leave: The Private Pain of the Small Church Pastor

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It’s hard when people leave a church. It’s hard to leave. It’s hard being left.

Most who leave don’t make that decision lightly. They deal with some serious pain when they finally make the decision to go.

If you’ve been a pastor for several years, you’ve had to deal with your share of such departures. Each one hurts. It’s especially hard when those leaving are long-term members.

Even if the church is large and growing, it can be hard when people leave. But when the church is small, each loss is much more painful.

Read more at Pivot

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6 thoughts on “When People Leave: The Private Pain of the Small Church Pastor”

  1. Great article! It’s encouraging to know that we are not the only pastors who have these emotional feelings when people leave our congregation. I have found that no matter how I feel about them leaving, the only right way to handle it is with love and grace. The way someone leaving is handled by the pastor could make or break a future chance of worshiping together. Thanks, again, for sharing on this subject!

  2. Great article! It’s encouraging to know that we are not the only pastors who have these emotional feelings when people leave our congregation. I have found that no matter how I feel about them leaving, the only right way to handle it is with love and grace. The way someone leaving is handled by the pastor could make or break a future chance of worshiping together. Thanks, again, for sharing on this subject!

  3. Feeling this pain is gut retching especially if you are a pastor who wants to “keep the flock” growing spirituality. Some flock members, may feel the need to head into new territories to expand themselves. Even Jesus had those challenges of keeping his flock together. This article came just at the right time for my little churches.and it reminds me not to take it personally for those that want to “move on”. Thank you. .

  4. Feeling this pain is gut retching especially if you are a pastor who wants to “keep the flock” growing spirituality. Some flock members, may feel the need to head into new territories to expand themselves. Even Jesus had those challenges of keeping his flock together. This article came just at the right time for my little churches.and it reminds me not to take it personally for those that want to “move on”. Thank you. .

  5. Our families suffer this pain as well. I ache for my daughter who has lost friends when people leave. People who leave often feel like they can’t continue a relationship with the pastoral family though they continue relationships with others long after they’re gone. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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