Have you ever noticed how people often lament the fact that members slip out “the back door”? They even state firmly that the church’s back door must be closed but fail to tell us how to close the door or even the location of the door. Some growing churches may think that their back door is closed, but in reality it may be simply that more people are coming in the front door than going out the back. And while that is better than more going out the back than coming in the front (which is true in some places), we still want to do what we can to retain our members.
Discovering the back door and attempting to close it will take strategies that are indeed evangelistic because our mandate is not simply to win people for God but to hold them.
Read Hebrews 10:25. Why is it important that Christians meet together regularly? When in fellowship together, how much “encouraging” do we give one another? How can we do even more than we are now?
The decision to leave the fellowship is usually not a sudden one. Rather, most people go through a process of quietly leaving. Just as coming to Christ and His church was a journey, the process of leaving is a journey. Most often for those who leave this is not a consciously planned strategy. They just start to slowly get disconnected, disenchanted, and dissatisfied with things in the church. Maybe, even in some cases, justifiably so. We should, therefore, seek to be aware of the journey of those around us at church.
Read Romans 14:13, Galatians 5:13, and Ephesians 4:32. How would living in harmony with these admonitions help to keep the back door closed? What can you and your church do to live out these important truths?
A caring church, one that continues to care, is a place where each individual is focused upon their personal relationship with Jesus. They have a clear concept of the value that Jesus places upon each individual. Closing the back door involves getting close to people, learning their needs as they are willing to share, and meeting those needs when appropriate. This is something no church program can provide. Only loving, caring individuals can.