Why in the world have people stopped coming to your church? Seriously, with all the work, and time, and effort that you put into the ministry, why would somebody up and leave? Here are twenty-five common reasons why people might stop coming to your church.

  1. The preaching stinks.
  2. They didn’t like the worship music.
  3. They are sick or shut-in.
  4. They moved away.
  5. The music was too loud.
  6. The music was too quiet.
  7. They found the seats to be uncomfortable.
  8. They found the temperature to be too hot.
  9. They found the temperature to be too cold.
  10. People were mean to them.
  11. They died.
  12. It is too far for for them to drive.
  13. They are working on Sundays.
  14. They didn’t like your personality.
  15. They are sleeping in on Sundays.
  16. The preaching was boring.
  17. The preaching was too deep.
  18. The preaching was too shallow.
  19. The preaching was too convicting.
  20. The preaching was too much about the Bible, and not enough about “practical” stuff.
  21. There weren’t enough ministries and programs.
  22. There were too many ministries and programs.
  23. Sunday School wasn’t meeting their children’s needs.
  24. They are going to the lake on Sundays.
  25. They had a personal conflict with someone in the church.
  26. There was no one else like them at the church.
  27. The services were held too early in the morning.
  28. The services were held too late in the morning.
  29. They had trouble finding parking.
  30. They thought everyone else was leaving the church.
  31. They turned to a different faith, or lost their faith.
  32. They were not comfortable with your theology.
  33. They found a different church.

Now that you’re totally aware of why people left your church, it’s time for the big question:  What should you do about it? Here are three suggestions.

  1. Perform a list purge. Call the people who stopped coming. If they don’t answer the phone after three times or if their number is disconnected and can’t be found, cross them off the list. If they answer the phone, just check and see what’s going on in their lives and if you can help them out.
  2. Continue to make disciples. Rather than fret about why people aren’t coming, simply focus on what you’re called to do. Obviously, there are times to adapt, regroup, and refine your approach. Yes, you must exercise appropriate cultural sensitivity, but not at the expense of your mission. Keep the goal in mind. Keep the mission foremost. Let come what may.
  3. You’re never going to please everyone. Seek to please God alone. If you get into the audience mentality of church ministry, things will probably fall apart. You have a mission. You have a goal. Aim for it. Do not be distracted by petty preferences and personal pet peeves.

About The Author

Daniel Threlfall

Daniel Threlfall has been writing church ministry articles for more than 10 years. With his background and training (M.A., M.Div.), Daniel is passionate about inspiring pastors and volunteers in their service to the King. Daniel is devoted to his family, nerdy about SEO, and drinks coffee with no cream or sugar. Learn more about Daniel at his blog and twitter.

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