Lately, it's been kind of discouraging to see people leaving our church for various reasons. Often, the reason they give is that there are not programs for their kids. I understand that reasoning, and can sympathize with it. All parents would do anything for their kids.
What I wish is that they would stay for love. We love these families. They're our brothers and sisters in Christ. Their children are our children. When their children were born, we promised to love and serve them and help to bring them up in the Lord. And we meant it.
I finally said this to one person who's considering leaving. I said that we love this person and their family and we don't want them to go. I said maybe they could stay for that love. Finally, I said I know they can find love elsewhere, "but there you go, you've got our love already."
And it's true.