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The Best-Excuses Class

by Michael R. Baer

One of the most frustrating experiences in ministry is seeing people drift away from your church. I'm talking about the ones who don't remove their membership and aren't mad at the pastor; they just stop being active.

Recently a young layman named Dusty and I made a list of people who had been active in our church and/or Sunday school at one time, but who had stopped coming. We came up with 150 names. Considering that our membership is only 127 and the town has only 1,100 residents, this was a sizable list.

We asked ourselves, What can we do to get them back? How do we remove the obstacles to their return? Is reactivation even possible? Or should we just forget them and go after "fresh meat"?

Then Dusty came up with an idea that, in just five weeks, caused a large number of inactives to return. Just as exciting, they brought the "fresh meat" with them. Our young-adult Sunday school class tripled in size, and our worship services have been revitalized ...

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