Church rivalry

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Lagardo, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. Lagardo

    Lagardo
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    691
    Likes Received:
    0
    I got very discouraged today about rivalry between churches. A little under a year ago, I came to this pastorate. Right about the time I got here, the other SBC church in town had a split. Naturally, in a town this size, a few of those from the other church began coming to ours. I was open and honest with the other pastor about this and made sure that he (as well as our deacons) understood that our goal was for unity in his church. We kept our distance and encouraged people to do what they could for unity.

    Now we're past that, although the other church struggles a bit with their new lower numbers and some other factors. On the other hand, our church has been doing great. We've seen strong spiritual growth among our members and recently has revival during (of all things) our spring revival. In the process of the revival, we had 50 people make decisions for Christ! Now we are following up on those and many other prospects.

    Since the revival, I have had two meetings with the other pastor. In the first, he shared his skeptism of our revival and said that he really wanted to see the long term effects of someone's conversion as opposed to an alter call and then having to follow up. That's fine. He can pastor as he sees fit. I'll lead this church as God directs me.

    However, today, he informs me that he has heard of people that made decisions at our revival and he is going to be talking to them about joining his church. After all, he says, its not a competition.

    He's right there, its not a competition, and if the move of God that we experienced happens in other churches and spreads through our community I will be thrilled. But to me, to express skeptism in what is going on and then try to beat us to the prospects door seems a bit like he's the one competing.

    So I guess, beyond venting, I'm wondering: If you were in my situation, how would you react? If you found out who in your town had made a decision at another church, would you go to convince them to give your church a shot instead?
     
  2. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,807
    Likes Received:
    0
    I simply preach and invite whomever the Lord directs me to. If another church is recruiting them, I'd still invite them. I've also sent people to other churches. "I don't like studying this much", is usually followed up by sending them to a church that a friend of mine pastors. He has also sent some to me because they were looking for more.
     
  3. ichthys

    ichthys
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2002
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    I saw something on the news the other night where over in Europe there are two churches that have been shooting fireworks at each other around Easter for like 400 years.

    I suggest that route. :laugh:

    Seriously though if you're doing what God says to do and reaching who you can when you can, that's the best reaction you can have.
     
  4. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,807
    Likes Received:
    0
    Shooting fireworks? That's so unbiblical!

    Throw rocks. That's what we do.
     
  5. mnw

    mnw
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,221
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's a tough one Lagardo. From the sounds of the other church it may not be long before you see them even if they do go there.

    I guess what you don't want is for those who made decisions feeling like they are in the middle of a tug of war.

    All you can do, as far as I can see, is meet with who you can, be friendly, loving and simply helpful. If their location is closer to this other church perhaps encourage them that way or if they mention the other church encourage them to visit both and see where they feel at home.

    Ultimately, God has a place for them all, they just need to decide where God wants them.

    This is a hard situation. I'll be praying.
     
  6. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,129
    Likes Received:
    221
    Have you spoken to your DOM about this?:tear: :saint:
     
  7. Trotter

    Trotter
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/6412.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    4,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sounds like you need to send Guido and Luigi to , um, pay him a visit. :D
     
  8. Lagardo

    Lagardo
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    691
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is my concern. Often when people sense some kind of argument between churches, or even a tug-of-war, they'd rather avoid it altogether. I hope that does not happen. I am fine with someone deciding they'd like to go to the other church. In fact, thus far in our follow-up, if someone says, "Well I usually go to such and such church" or "I would like to go with my family to such and such" I remove them from the prospect file and contact the pastor of such and such to let them know.

    I am also concerned that this other pastor has expressed skeptism over these decisions but at the same time is trying to baptize them. I suspect its an attempt to show his own congregation some posiitve numbers.
     
  9. Lagardo

    Lagardo
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    691
    Likes Received:
    0
    The other church, although SBC and MBC, is not in a local association.
     
  10. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,129
    Likes Received:
    221
    The plot thickens. Is it that they are in a different association, or they just not affiliated with any association? I would think, as long as they are SBC/ MBC the DOM could still possibly be involved; possibly with the assistance of the MBC.:1_grouphug:

    Over all it does sound like you are handling this in a mature Christian manner. Sometimes it is very hard to do the right thing.

    Our prayers continue for you and your church.:godisgood: :jesus:

    Salty
     
  11. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is a DOM and what authority does he have?

    Ultimately, you can talk to the other pastor, but don't worry about it. Do your followup and discipleship.
     
  12. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    What if you did nothing?

    For me, it would be hard to resent what the other pastor is doing. But if you don't like churches' "sheep-stealing," then don't even get close to trying to stop the other pastor.

    Hang loose, God will sort all this out.
     
  13. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,129
    Likes Received:
    221

    A DOM is the Director of Missions for a Souther Bap (local) association. The Local associations are atutomous from the state and national SBC groups. Actually he has NO authority. He can not MAKE a church or pastor do anything. However, he could be a man whom both pastors could respect and seek counsel from.
     
  14. Lagardo

    Lagardo
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ultimately that is what I am doing...although it is hard not to be a little resentful. On the other hand, this is such a small thing compared to what God is doing in our church. I need to keep my focus on God...and if our revival spreads to other churches, I will be happy to see God doing more and more!

    As for our own follow-up...we're keeping water in the baptistry these days :godisgood:
     
  15. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Messages:
    5,533
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think you've got the right attitude. Sounds like the other pastor might have a pride issue or he's grown discouraged from not seeing such positive results in his church and has a case of "sour grapes."

    I don't appreciate "sheep stealing" either and my husband doesn't practice it, but it might be good for the other church to get some new members who are on fire for God and willing to grow. In the case of our little church, a few new converts would really boost the morale of the faithful few as well as nudge the sleeping pew warmers.
     
  16. mcdirector

    mcdirector
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    8,292
    Likes Received:
    10
    Well, I think the fact that those poor folks might well be caught in the middle and avoid both pastors and both churches is the point here and . . . well the results might be disastrous.

    I think talking to the DOM is a good decision. Even if the other pastor isn't in your association or isn't willing to sit down with you and the DOM, you've got someone else who knows what's going on and will be praying for both of your churches in a knowledgeable way.

    AND - from where I sit is that I'll be praying for your decision. My biggest concern is the new converts and the pull they may be feeling.
     
  17. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    I cannot understand why so many pastors are so protective of "their" church. Most of the cities are full of people who are not Christians.

    A few years ago I spoke with some pastors about getting an evangelistic effort going in the city where I was pastoring. During one of the meetings one of the pastors asked me about what we should do with the people who come to Christ. I told him to follow them up and make disciples. I told him there were several thousand in the area he could share his faith with.

    Too many adhere to preservation of the saints by pickling them when pastors should be giving themselves away and helping other church which need help. I have seen God bless the churches which give away their faith and their people to help others.
     
  18. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks. That's what I thought. I am much more comfortable with a local association than a national convention. But I reject any authority outside the local church.
     
  19. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,129
    Likes Received:
    221
    How can you reject something (authority outside the local church) when it doesnt exist:laugh: :thumbs:

    Salty

    As Winston Churchill said:
    from Classic Quotes:
    Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

    Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965), Speech, 1941, Harrow School
     
  20. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree. Unfortunately, all do not.
     

Share This Page

Loading...