People come into a church. People leave the church. But do churches know the reason why?
It is easier to find out what attracts a person to start coming to a church with some regularity. It is easier to ask them outright. Most people are eager to help the church leaders know.
But it is more difficult to find out why a person leaves a church. This is mainly because church attendance is sporadic for most attendees. It used to be that regular church goers attended every week; but these days, attendance once or twice a month is the definition of a regular church attendee.
For some small churches, no one is keeping track of why parishioners leave. They miss one, two, three Sundays; and no one ever follows up. Whose job is it supposed to be anyway? So people, families drift away. There has to be a way of following up and keeping people connected. But I think many churches fail at this.
As for me, I've missed the last two Sundays at my church. I'll miss again on this coming Sunday because it is one of the rare Sundays where I have to work. No one has reached out to me to find out the reason. I guess everyone assumes I've left. Maybe they think I've moved--that was a rumor for a while. So many have left our church in the past year. Yet I too have been guilty of not following up and finding out why.
Sickness has kept me away from church for the past two weeks. After a month of no church attendance, if I go back, would I still be welcome? Has the congregation already written me off? Is there anything left for me?