It’s a sad fact, but one that you need to face up front.
You will lose people.
When you transition from a legacy church to a network of simple churches, not everyone will come with you. For many, the legacy church has been their whole life, and when you suggest a paradigm shift as major as the one this entails, you are rocking their spiritual world. They’d rather find somewhere else where they feel safe and that meets their needs. Jesus said, “They will say the old wine is better.”
What should your reaction be?
I hear many stories where people say they feel betrayed, hurt and angry when others leave, or for those who are leaving, they feel rejected and ostracized.
Don’t let it be that way!
If people want to leave, don’t let them slip out the back door. Ask people to let you know if they want to go so you can bless them. Throw a party! Yes, if your legacy church has done anything right, you’ll have tears, but let it be a time of spiritual growth. Honor them. Let them know it’s good that the Lord is leading them that way. Have a group of people gather round and prophesy over them and pray for them. Send them out from your legacy church with the blessing and good wishes of everyone concerned. Help them find another legacy church if that is what they want. Write a letter of commendation to their new pastor. Do everything within your power to make their leaving something they will look back on as a time when the Lord was leading and blessing them. Ask them to pray for you and bless you.
You won’t experience the sadness of broken relationships.