I don't want to hijack the thread about vetting someone. I freely admit I see two sides to this contacting a former pastor thing. Obviously if I were to ask to transfer my letter to a new church, they will be in contact with my old church. That would be the time for the pastor at the old church to raise red flags. I mean, maybe I was treasurer and stole money. Or was a child molester. Can't have that just swept under the rug. But on the other hand, I have seen some pretty heavy handed and vindictive folks trash someone's reputation. They could be leaving the old church just because they realize they disagree with its theology. Or have a personality conflict. Or loathe something being done in the service. (Yes, music, drama, poor preaching, etc would fit here.) They could be really good Christians and excellent church members just sensing God is leading them in the move. That doesn't make them bad or troublemaking or divisive. Of course, some preachers will consider anyone who disagrees with them about anything as "divisive." I will admit if I were just visiting and had not asked for membership and you called the pastor where I am a member to check up on me, and I found out, I wouldn't be a visitor at your church again. It smacks of attempts to control and blacklist to me. (But then again, I'm not in conflict or in trouble at church.) I would guess this would have to be a rare thing, and handled carefully, and only when someone applies for membership, has a bad reputation in the community, or is being divisive while visiting a new church. I'm not much on the idea a church can keep you a member if you have notified them you resign, either. Your thoughts?