Pastoral Pointer | Saying "Goodbye" with Grace

Few things are as awkward or as hurtful to a pastor as the unexpected departure of church members for another local congregation. Their decision to leave may cause fear, defensiveness, and anger in the pastor’s heart while clouding his judgment and threatening his peace of mind. Left unchecked, his emotions might even compromise his ability to shepherd the ones who stay. How can a pastor not only manage his feelings, but also sow seeds of friendship and kindness that salvage the relationship and leave the door open that might one day welcome them back?