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Kevin DeYoung has a very helpful three-part series (1, 2, 3) on Dealing With Disappointment in the Church. Go to his blog to see each point expanded, but below is an outline of questions that should be asked.

First, leaders should ask:

  1. Do we have some mechanism for personally knowing our sheep?
  2. Do we have some way of knowing when people are not showing up at church?
  3. Are we confronting cliquishness in our church?
  4. Are there easy, identifiable ways for the shy, the non go-getters, and the more culturally reserved to get involved and be known by others?
  5. Is it at least possible that we are more at fault than we think?
  6. Have we made promises we didn't deliver on?
  7. Are these critics generally critical?

And church members should ask:

  1. Did I ever ask for help?
  2. Have I overlooked opportunities to fit in and get to know people?
  3. Is it realistic for the leaders to give to every person in this church the kind of care I expect?
  4. If I really wanted to be loved and noticed why did I stop showing up?
  5. Am I willing to consider that I may be at fault more than I realize?
  6. Is it possible I've overlooked ways the body has cared for me because I was hoping a different part of the body would care for me?
  7. In general have I found this church and these leaders to be unloving and unsupportive?

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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