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In this episode of the 5 Leadership Questions podcast, Todd Adkins and Daniel Im are joined by Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. During their conversation, they discuss the following questions:
- Have you ever left a church as an attender and why?
- What are the reasons church leaders think people leave their church?
- What does the research actually say?
- What’s the most surprising thing you discovered in the research?
- What do churchgoers want in their churches?
“I assume people come or go from your church because of either preaching, worship, or kids.”
“In this economy, there are so many things that are subscription based. If I’m merely ‘subscribing’ to a church instead of becoming a part of the body, there are multiple opportunities for me to opt out.”
“Only 57% of churchgoers would describe themselves as completely committed to continuing to attend their current church.”
“By the time you find out someone is considering leaving your church, they are actively looking and pretty much gone. You can’t assume you will know ahead of time someone is on the brink of leaving.”
“Stepping away from leadership means ‘I’m starting to look’ in a lot of cases.”
“The number one reason people gave that they would leave their church is doctrine.”
“When we asked people what they would like more of from their current church, there are things on that list that include serving, which implied that people want to serve more.”
“In total, 1 out of 4 churchgoers indicated that they want their church to improve. Either saying ‘give me help in finding new ways I can serve’ or ‘give me more chances to serve.’”
“If we are listening a little more to the talents and gifts people are bringing to the church, we can be creating roles within the church for them to help them fit.”
“They are not looking for another job, they already have one of those. They are looking for something more missional.”
“The second highest reason for switching churches as an adult was that you did not feel engaged or involved in meaningful work at the church.”
Research results: “Churchgoers stick around for theology, not music or preachers”