Upon (retention)visits to inactive church members, it appeared that some of them had already joined other religious groups and no longer wished to come back to our church. How should we proceed with them?
The Lord’s work is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of all his children. One of the ways we participate in this doctrine is through our retention efforts.
As a result of our personal moral agency we experience a brother or sister who has left the church, for whatever reason, and have joined another sect or religion.
If there names are still on our records then we have a duty bound obligation before the Lord to seek out the “one” and leave the ninety-nine. This includes those who even have joined another sect. This is similar to missionary work. We visit, we minister, and we seek to help our brother’s and sister’s who have removed themselves from the faith.
My recommendation, continue to visit these families unless they have specifically said, “Do not stop by anymore.”
In our ward, when this is the case, we continue to visit these members once a year to make sure they are OK, and to verify if their heart has not changed.
I have discovered, for myself, that it is very important in these circumstances that we remain their friends. Invite them to activities. Invite them to non-church activities, especially those who are their friends.