Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions Thom Rainer: 6 Early Warning Signs of Church Dropouts

Thom Rainer: 6 Early Warning Signs of Church Dropouts

Their involvement in conflict goes against their more peaceful nature. They may be embarrassed, ashamed or just plain weary about this situation and see exiting the church as their best resolution to the problem.

5. Family problems.

Too many church members are embarrassed when family problems occur. They fear the church will be judgmental rather than redemptive. Church members need to know there is a safe place and/or person where they can share their problems and needs.

6. Moral failure.

Those who are involved in moral failure are the most likely to drop out of church life. Some of them do not want to change their lifestyle and repent. Others do not see the church as a place to confess and be restored.

Conversely, too many churches do not know how to deal with members involved in moral failure. You may need to teach on this issue.

Reclamation challenges

Reclamation ministries, meaning seeking to reactivate members (or frequent visitors) who dropped out into the church’s life, are worthwhile. They are, however, very difficult and generally register low success rates. It is much better to deal with dropout issues before the dropout takes place.

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Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources (LifeWay.com). Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and six grandchildren. He was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism, and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, The Unexpected Journey, and Breakout Churches.