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Acceptable Losses

Two pastors debate whether alienating some people to attract others is good practical theology or a failure of leadership.

To grow, often a church must first lose some people. Many church leaders understand the reality of that principle. When members who resist changes that promote evangelism depart, the church is freer to achieve its mission. But in the long run, does the church benefit from a philosophy of "If you don't like it, you're welcome to leave"?
The answers significantly influence how a pastor leads change in the church. Two experienced pastors explain their differing stances.

Health Requires Pruning

My wife and I felt cramped sitting in the tiny church office with Steve and Brenda (not their real names). They wanted us to know they had decided to leave the church.

It was hard to believe what I was hearing. They were pillars. Between them, they had served on the church board, preached in worship, spoken at women's retreats, coordinated the usher ministry, taught a Bible class, and ...

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