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Story Evangelism



LEAD Plus provides professional expertise in the following areas (to find out about a particular area, just click it on).

*Communication Skills

*Conflict Management

*Problem Solving

*Team Building

*Dealing w/ Transition


*Spirituality &  Prayer

*Emotional Intelligence

*Neuro-Linguistic Programming Skills


Early Warning Signals of Drop-out

“Here’s the church. Here’s the steeple, Open the door, and where are all the people?”

According to a recent survey, since 1990, the population within the United States has grown more than 50 million adults, but nearly all denominations have declined significantly in attendance. 

People are not identifying with the church and are leaving!  What causes a church member to drop-out?  What are the early warning signals that a member is thinking about dropping-out?

Anxiety provoking events often prompt church members to drop-out of church.  These incidents begin with some trigger(s), such as a death, divorce, or conflict at work or in the church, that cause the parishioner to become upset.  In order to alleviate the discomfort from this felt anxiety, the member will first send a cry for help before he or she begins the drop-out track, according to Dr. John Savage’s research  (Savage, 1976).

Language, including words spoken, intonation, and body language, reveals that a person is planning on dropping out.  Below are some of the ways that people try to communicate their need to be heard and helped.  Their cries will often become stronger if they do not get a response as they progress through emotions of hurt which will turn to anger. 

Stages of Disengagement


Text Box: Pain- HurtBehavior

1.       Differentiating


·         Shift in possessive pronouns from “my” or “our” church to “the” or “your” church. 

·         Talk about the “good ‘ole days” of the church.

·         Tells what“ should’a, would’a, and could’a” been done. 

·         Displays looks of contempt when others speak about the church or its leaders.

·         Rolls the eyes upwards as to disapprove.

2.       Chilling

·         Icy silence is heard and felt

·           Ask how they are or what’s wrong, and you’ll get “I don’t want to discuss it,” or “Nothing.”

·         Use formalities and social politeness.  

·         Tend to lean away while talking or side-stepping members

·         They display a “fake” smile.


3.       Questioning


·         Rhetorical questions are used, for example, “I wonder if I offended the staff, since none of them have called me recently.”

·         Disguise criticisms in form of prayer requests.

·         Double entendres and hidden meanings in their speech. 

·         Pupils contract.

·         Their motions become rigid.

·         They will seem like a stranger to you. 

·         They will tend to cross their arms and legs in rejection or disapproval. 

4.      Sabotaging


·         Openly expresses disapproval or concerns about the church and leaders. 

·         Makes threats to leave the church.

·          Assign fault for what is wrong with the church to certain people.

·         May resort to gossip. 


·         Points finger at you while speaking.

·         Text Box: Anger - FrustrationDisplays displeasure by placing hands on his hips while speaking about the church.

·         Tends not to complete assignments. 

5.      Terminating


·         Announce to someone in that they are going to leave the church .

·         Phrases “I can’t do this anymore.”


·         Attendance at different church functions will become erratic.

·         Stops attending unless someone listens to their story. 


The language will vary slightly based on the person’s personality to handle conflict.  The more aggressive personality will place the blame on others.  The person that tends to avoid conflict will be more likely to accept the blame himself or herself. 

So if you see these signals, how do you convince the person not to leave?  How do you keep them within the “folds of the church?”  Discover how to prevent drop-out and reclaim those inactive members who have already left the church. 



Should the Church Use Social Networking

to Reach People


Recently after a meeting of the house church I pastor, we were discussing social networking when one of the participants said she would not sign up for Facebook or for Myspace.  Her reasoning was it was too intrusive and she could just call her friends if she wanted to talk to them.  She is a Baby Boomer (born 1946-1964) and was on the internet about four times a week.  Is she typical of our church population?    Should the church expend its energy and resources to become involved in social networking?  Is social networking an effective means to reach lost people?


This is the first of a series of articles about the church using social networking to reach people.  This article will cover the who, that is who is using social networking.


According to a Pew survey, the number of Americans using social networking has more than quadrupled in the past four years rising from 8% in 2005 to 35% in 2008.  It is expected that by the end of next year that this figure will be close to 50%.  Where else can a church go to find a third of their community? 


Just who are these people using social networking?  As would be expected, one will find a large number of under 35’s on social networking sites. Based upon a study done at the end of 2008, of the 18-24 age group who use the internet and who in that age group does not, 75% use social networking.  In the next age group, 25 to 35, 57% use social networking. 


What about the over 35 age group, do they use social networking?  The answer is yes for nearly a third of adults 35-44 have an online profile and right at 20% of those 45-54 have one.  The interesting fact is that the fastest growing segments of those using social networking sites are older adults.  Gen Y, those 14 to 29 years old, increased their use of social networking by 2% between 2008 and 2009.  But Baby Boomers, those 42 to 60, increased their use of social networking by 59% during the same time period.  Currently it is estimated that 28% of Baby Boomers have a profile on a social networking site.


So no matter what age group you are trying to reach, you will find them on social networking sites.  The next question is can we use social networking to reach unchurched adults?  Certainly not the way most churches and pastors use social networking!  Currently most pastors I know that are using social networking have their own Facebook account.  But typically this is social oriented and not directly related to their church; they share information about their family, their activities, and the such. This is of interest to their friends and maybe to their church members; but, not to those looking for a church or for a lost person.


In the next article, we will look at how to use social networking to reach the unchurched person. If your church needs help using social networking to reach people or with a website, please feel free to contact me at or 678 522-1134.



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