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Abentee and missing members
News Update:  Report to Annual Council - Oct. 2016
by G.T. Ng, Executive Secretary of General Conference

Membership loss has increased to 49% (one out of every two members leaves the church)
Click to read article in Adventist Review
The Church Manual has procedures for dealing with members who fail to attend church services and functions. The manual says, “Absentees” should not be removed from the church roll but contacted and encouraged to attend.
Absentees should be faithfully visited by the church leadership, and each should be encouraged to revive church attendance, explaining the seriousness of neglecting the obligation of church membership in deliberately absenting oneself for indefinite periods of time and making no report of one’s faith and hope to the church. When issues of age, infirmity, or other unavoidable cause a member finds it impossible to attend divine worship regularly, it should be considered an obligation to keep in contact with the church leaders by letter or by other means. However, as long as a person is loyal to the doctrines of the church, nonattendance at church services shall not be considered sufficient to removal from church membership.
Church Manual, page 198 (17th edition)
It is easy to lose contact with members who move out of the area, and the Church Manual makes the member responsible for maintaining contact with the church.
When members move away from the vicinity, it is their duty to inform the church elder or clerk as to their new location and address. While they remain members of that church they should recognize their responsibility of reporting regularly to the church and sending in their tithes and offerings. It is desirable for such a report to be sent as least once each quarter. If, however, such a member leaves no address behind and makes no effort to reach the home church or send a report and it is found impossible to locate the missing member, then, after an absence of two years, an individual may be removed from the membership of the church by a vote of the church, provided the church officers can certify that they have faithfully endeavored to locate the person but without success. The clerk should record in the proper column, “Whereabouts unknown. Voted to designate as missing.”
Church Manual, page 198 (17th edition)
This paragraph also deals with members who "make no effort" to contact their church,  they are called “missing” members. Notice the first text says, "deliberately absenting oneself"  and this is similar to the second text, "leaves no address behind and makes no effort to reach the home church" - both describe a member who is intentionally absent and missing. I call these members discouraged and disgruntled members.
This section of DiggingForTruth.org will attempt to understand “absentee” and “missing” members and to minister to them with the wisdom granted to us from God. 
Inspiration tells us that “In comparison with the worth of one soul, the whole world sinks to insignificance. . ."   Testimonies, Vol. 5, page 614 
  We need to renew our efforts to reach our brothers and sisters who have stopped coming to church, and who intentionally avoid fellowship with us. Before we can expect them to return we need to understand why they have left the church and also to impress them that we care deeply for them.
  This ministry becomes complicated when the member has been grieved by a leader or leaders of the church and the member's attempts to resolve and reconcile the grievance (real or perceived) is hindered by other church leaders who ignore inspired counsels and Church Manual procedures.
  In developing content for this section, we are first asking leaders at the local conference, union and division level to provide content and guidance. As these church leaders respond we will add to this section. Please contact us with ideas and suggestions and feel free to add a comment below.         Posted:  Aug. 24, 2010
Reclaim Your Faith  by Doug Batchelor - - See it Live from Jan. 13 to Jan. 15, 2012
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                Free Book:   How to Survive in Church      
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Former Members, Inactive Members - Pastoral Ministry, Chapter 38 (page 219 - 221)
How to Overcome Discouragement - submitted by Pastor Korac
Leaders of Euro-Asia Division efforts to connect with missing members - ANN, Nov. 2010
The Absentee/Missing Members page has active discussions on our Forum. For more information about the Forum.  Click Here
  Members can go directly to the forum http://diggingfortruth.org/forum/


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