Last night I shared with our leadership team for The Well about "The Bus" principle of ministry.
Our ministry is like a bus. People will get on at certain points, stay awhile and then get off. The point is that people will get on the bus and people will get off the bus.
In starting a new church we have to understand this. Everyone that stands at the bus stop does not mean that they will get on your bus. As people get on the bus, they will bring gifts, talents and a wealth of experience. Some will also bring baggage from past experiences. When they first get on the bus treat it like dating. Dating gets really weird when one person wants to overcommit to quickly. We can smother new people. During the dating time, let them get used to your bus, allow them time to adjust to the route of this bus also. Overtime, they may choose to take this bus for their daily route.
People also get off the bus. This is natural. It can be a detriment to momentum however. At our meeting, our leaders had these things to say: 1) Ask if there was a reason in particular they got off of your bus. 2) Discern between legitimate concerns and excuses. 3) If they are people of character and added value to your ministry...keep the relationship door open. Let them know that you celebrate their decision (if done correctly) and will always be there for them.
This lesson was talked about in order to prevent the emotional rollercoaster of joy when they get on and depression when they get off.