1% die; 3% move away
5% develop other friendships; 9% competitive reasons
14% product dissatisfaction
68% quit because of an attitude of indifference toward the customer by some employee.
When applied to churches, the numbers may be slightly different in each category. But the point is that many people do indeed stop attending a particular church because of indifference on the part of those in leadership as well as the average person sitting in a pew.
One young man I once knew attempted to apply to a local seminary, but his application had to be accompanied by a letter of recommendation from his pastor. He attended a megachurch which recently had been selected as among the fastest growing churches in America. Yet when this young man attempted to call the church office, he was told he had to speak to the pastor’s secretary, rather than the pastor himself. So he was put through to the pastor’s secretary, only to get her voice mail time after time. He left numerous messages, and she never returned his phone call. This for a simple letter of recommendation.
He asked others on staff about what to do, and each time, he was told that he needed to talk to the pastor’s secretary. I can still see the hurt in his eyes when he said to me, “This is what happens when a church gets that big: it loses its heart for people.” That may be an exaggeration, but it makes me wonder: if there was a greater need, how would one get in touch with a minister to help them? He began attending elsewhere; thankfully, he did not drop out altogether.
He was just one in a church of thousands. But the same thing can happen in much smaller churches if we are not careful. Even perceived indifference can affect someone adversely. How many times have we heard that someone visited a church service, and no one spoke to them? Or someone expressed a concern about a particular thing, and their comments were either smoothed over or completely ignored?
Paying attention to others is not something we should do because we don’t want them to speak ill of our church when they attend, or because we think they might stop coming. It is something we do as members of the Body of Christ. It is something we do because we care about honoring Him and serving His People, and bringing others into the Kingdom. Let’s work hard to make sure no one “quits.”
--Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com