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Ghosted Again? Pastors Respond to Disappearing Congregants

Church leaders are seeking fresh ways to prevent "backdoor exits" and adapt to shifting membership.
Ghosted Again? Pastors Respond to Disappearing Congregants
Image: Edits by Christianity Today. Sources: Getty / Zhengshun Tang / Alexandra Pavlova / Yifei Fang / Tanes Ngamsom

The membership packet for new congregants at Cross City Church in Columbus, Ohio, is pretty straightforward. There’s a section enumerating the church’s “essential doctrines,” including creedal beliefs like the Trinity and the saving work of Jesus on the cross. There’s a section about church leadership and discipline, explaining the church’s process when a member sins.

And there’s a curious section under membership, “How to Be Sent Out or Leave the Church”:

There are many ways in which God calls His children out of one spiritual family into another. Physical moving, leading to a new mission and disagreement are all ways in which He moves His children. All these may happen without sin and with a full and righteous leading of the Spirit. … We pray and ask the members of Cross City to be prayerful, honest and communicate concerns, offenses, hopes, ideas and convictions in an early fashion, rather than allowing them to fester in isolation ...
May/June
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