Have new members brought drastic change to your church?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by TexasSky, May 5, 2005.

  1. TexasSky

    TexasSky
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    I went through a rather odd experience recently.

    I am a member of a church where our deacon body really stands firm with our Pastor, and they work very well together. I was, therefore, somewhat stunned to find out there were a rumor our church was "drastically divided," and that some people were creating an "authoritative" debate in the church.

    The deacon's committee invited all members to attend a special business session to discuss something. Certain members said it was a confidence call in relation to the Pastor.

    Bewildered, I asked a few key people what was going on. The deacon body who had been with the church for the longest period of time supported the ministerial staff 100%. So where was the problem?

    At the business meeting, people stood and those who kept standing up to complain always began with, "We just joined this church four months ago," or "We haven't been a member here long, but at our last church we....".

    I was disturbed by this. First, if they were brand new members to the church, they weren't deacons.

    Second, they were obviously causing division in the church.

    Third, because the view they seemed to present was, "this should be an exclusive club," as everything they were fighting the staff and deacons on related to how to reach the lost of the city.

    Most of all though, I was upset that the choice was "put to a vote," and that basically, these "new members," over-ruled both the ministerial staff AND the deacons.

    Have any of you been through this?
     
  2. exscentric

    exscentric
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    I know this isn't the norm, but I'd suggest pastors start calling ex pastors when someone comes for membership - find out why these prospective members left. Also, if they left in less than normal circumstances then require them to settle things at their old church before they are accepted into the new one.
     
  3. TexasSky

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    A few years ago, I would have strongly disagreed with you, but I have a friend who is Episcopalian. We talk a lot about what happened in their church. They told me that they've been given to understand that certain pro-gay groups specifically targeted some of the smaller Episcopalian churches in certain cities to join them and get memberships. Once in the churches they "took them over," and managed to get to the national conventions where the vote on the ordination of the gay bishop took place.

    I keep thinking about that phrase, "targeting" churches.
     
  4. gb93433

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    I went through that but it was the new people who were right and were disgusted at the old guard. Thye wanted the church to grow and help but the deacons had been there alomsot since they were born. It was their church and they didn't like all the new growth. Only a few years earleir it was 25 for about 50 years. When I came it ran up to about 220 inb about 20 months. They did not lie it that they had little control and didn't know many of the new people. Once they complained I aksed them to go visiting with me. But instead they declined and continued to complain that their social club was getting disrupted.

    Did I ever see some wickedness and gossip. If there was ever a time when I thought a Christian could be demoin possessed it was then. I saw some vicious folks get angry and evenchange their voices some much like we think of those who are involved into the New Age channeling.

    Since I left their church many of the new people have left and they are back to their old ways and are dwindling.
     
  5. TexasSky

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    I've heard of that before gb.
    In our church the most progressive group is our old guard because most of them are retired evangelistic ministers. They are all fired up about reaching the lost. The new people were the ones who were against any change or progress at all. It was kind of odd.
     
  6. Dina

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    That could be a BAD idea, leading to gossip and/or slander, or just a huge he said she said.

    Tell me, what happens when a pastor gets full of himself, starts preaching his own brand of the Bible and members in the church call him on it. He says he's the boss so these members leave. Gee, when those people go to join a new church and the new pastor calls the old pastor for a "reference" on these people, what is that old pastor going to say. DO you really think he'll say that he is preaching unbiblically and these people left because of that......I doubt it. He'll turn it around and make it sound like they are in "sin".
     
  7. gb93433

    gb93433
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    That could be a BAD idea, leading to gossip and/or slander, or just a huge he said she said.

    Tell me, what happens when a pastor gets full of himself, starts preaching his own brand of the Bible and members in the church call him on it. He says he's the boss so these members leave. Gee, when those people go to join a new church and the new pastor calls the old pastor for a "reference" on these people, what is that old pastor going to say. DO you really think he'll say that he is preaching unbiblically and these people left because of that......I doubt it. He'll turn it around and make it sound like they are in "sin".
    </font>[/QUOTE]None of my friends would do such a thing. There are some people going from church to church doing nothing but stirring up trouble. I had a situation where a man started swindling people in the church until I found out about and then asked some of the other pastors in town. They filled me in on the man.
     
  8. exscentric

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    When I suggested what I said, it was based on the idea the pastor and board had some common sense and discernment and could evaluate all parties and come to some conclusions - not that they are infallible, but they would be the best information available to make a decision on.

    As to it becoming gossip, of course it could but then so could anything that proceeds out of our mouths, are we to zip it and never speak again? :)

    Then there is that thing of seeking guidance from the head of the church before making a decision :) and I don't mean the pastor :)
     
  9. TexasSky

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    Actually,

    I discovered, quite by accident, many churches do something like that.

    I volunteered to teach a 9th grade Sunday School class. When the youth minister called me back to tell me when the planning session was he said, "I spoke to people at (a church I attended many years ago), and they remember you. They really have a lot of great things to say about you." I was relieved he talked to people there who had GOOD thoughts about my children's ministry and wondered what would have happened if he'd met some who had the other point of view. I did, though, respect that he cared enough about our youth to go to that extent in selecting sunday school teachers.
     
  10. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    There is a reason why "church letters" exist ... You are crazy to accept a transfer from another church without one ... without at least finding out why someone left the church. It is not gossip to seek such. When someone attends my church from another church of like faith and practice, I call the pastor that week to find out what is going on, and if they have talked to him.
     
  11. hamricba

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    I have the opposite problem... people who have been in the church forever who have no desire to get to know the new people...
     
  12. music4Him

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    TexasSky I accually seen the same thing happen in a Baptist church down the road that I would attend (the pastor grew up with my parents so it was like family). New members came in and several months later the preacher who had moved the church, worked numerous unpaided hours doing the things that a pastor does, he built the church up and after years (30+) the new ones came in and they pretty much kicked him out. :( Then the ones who were the main instigators left (including the Assitant pastor who resigned his post 2 weeks before this happened then became pastor afterwards). They now have a new pastor and the asst.pastor left. Just so sad. :(
     

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