Whether your a business owner, on the HOA board, or maybe in the PTO, when people leave your organization it hurts. Unfortunately, it’s something we all go through as leaders and it’s hard not to take it personal. In 1 John 2:19 (TPT) the Bible tells us,  For even though they were once a part of us, they withdrew from us because they were never really of our number. For if they had truly belonged to us they would have continued with us. By leaving our community of believers they made it obvious that they never really belonged to us. We see here in John that he too is struggling with the same thing. This shows us that it’s something we all deal with. The very fact that it hurts that someone has left means that your in the right place to be leading. When we truly give people our hearts it should hurt when they leave. If you ever get to a place where it doesn’t hurt, it’s time to reevaluate and reflect on your leadership. When I’ve been in this place there are a couple things that I remind myself of and process through to help me recover and get back to a healthy place to lead. 

  1. It isn’t about you. It’s easy to start to go on a negative cycle and beat ourselves up about what went wrong. The truth is there is probably more going on than you realize. Take time to talk to those who have left and connect with them about what is going on in their life and take ownership where you can but also realize that it’s probably more about them than you. 
  2. Learn from everything. In Jesus nothing is wasted, He uses every single thing. But honestly sometimes the truth comes in really crappy packages. What we can get out of the truth is what will help you grow as a leader. Don’t just get offended, stop and listen and see if there is any element of truth in why they left. 
  3. Grace keeps the door open. When we get hurt our tendency is to close the door and shut everyone out but in that we also keep the good from coming in. The door has to be open for people to come back or new people to come in and we can’t do that if we are shut off and distant because we fear someone might do the same thing. 

Friend, Jesus talked to thousands but at the end of the day He was with the twelve. We must remember that if Jesus couldn’t retain all those people then we surely aren’t going to. It’s okay to lose people as long as you learn it isn’t always about you, learn from what you can, and to keep the door open so others can come in. Turn your pain into power and see what God can do! XO