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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

What's is your thoughts about stealing members from other solid churches in your area? We have at least one church that will do this, 2 more are suspects.

If I talk with a person that is a member of another good Baptist church, or even one that I think might just be fairly good, I will not try to get them to leave their church for our church. If they're out of church I will tell them they ought to go back to their home church if at all possible, if that is impossible that we would be proud to have them.

If I encounter people who attend some of the denominational churches I will not get in a discussion about Bible doctrine, but I will say if you have the opportunity come visit us. I just don't feel there is nothing to be gained debating them.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

What's is your thoughts about stealing members from other solid churches in your area? We have at least one church that will do this, 2 more are suspects.

If I talk with a person that is a member of another good Baptist church, or even one that I think might just be fairly good, I will not try to get them to leave their church for our church. If they're out of church I will tell them they ought to go back to their home church if at all possible, if that is impossible that we would be proud to have them.

If I encounter people who attend some of the denominational churches I will not get in a discussion about Bible doctrine, but I will say if you have the opportunity come visit us. I just don't feel there is nothing to be gained debating them.


Brother Jerry, you're right on target! We're on the same page!
An excellent message on the subject, is from Evangelist Mike Qualls, of Cleveland, NC, entitled "When Is It Wrong To Take Another Man's Members?" I urge you to contact him and get it! He's a member of Morning Star Baptist Church, of Cleveland, NC. I have the cd here and I may put it on my website! It'll take some editing, due to it being on several tracks and a little tape repetitiveness at the beginning of some of those!
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Brother Jerry, you're right on target! We're on the same page!
An excellent message on the subject, is from Evangelist Mike Qualls, of Cleveland, NC, entitled "When Is It Wrong To Take Another Man's Members?" I urge you to contact him and get it! He's a member of Morning Star Baptist Church, of Cleveland, NC. I have the cd here and I may put it on my website! It'll take some editing, due to it being on several tracks and a little tape repetitiveness at the beginning of some of those!


Well, um, apparently, I won't be putting that message on my website, after all! Neither my cd player in the back, nor this computer will play it! Oops?
Ah, well, I reckon you'll just have to get it from Brother Qualls!
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

What's is your thoughts about stealing members from other solid churches in your area? We have at least one church that will do this, 2 more are suspects.

If I talk with a person that is a member of another good Baptist church, or even one that I think might just be fairly good, I will not try to get them to leave their church for our church. If they're out of church I will tell them they ought to go back to their home church if at all possible, if that is impossible that we would be proud to have them.

If I encounter people who attend some of the denominational churches I will not get in a discussion about Bible doctrine, but I will say if you have the opportunity come visit us. I just don't feel there is nothing to be gained debating them.


One church can't "steal" members from another. Property is stolen, and members should not be viewed like that. Sadly some pastors seem as if they almost do regard church members as property which can be lost or "stolen". Sometimes there is a little to much ego involved. I do think it is wise to find out why someone is starting to attend you church if they previously attended another sound church in the general area. To often people switch churches for petty reasons and that should be discouraged for their own good and for the good of what ever church they are trying to join. People who leave one church for petty reasons usually make a habit of it while sowing strife all along the way.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

It seems that some have no idea what stealing church members is about, and it can be and it is done many times each year.

I will give an example. Years ago after I had surrendered to preach one night while visiting I got my pastor to visit a man. Let me give some history on this. This man was a member of another Baptist Church, he had surrendered to Preach the Gospel, but had dropped out of church.

While visiting him I made this suggestion, if at all possible he needs to go back to his home church, yet if he felt he could not that I want him to know that he is welcome at our church at anytime.

As we pulled out of the drive way my pastor tried to chew me out, telling me I should never tell them they ought to go back to their home church, but only try and get them to our church. As I said he tried to chew me out, but I explained where I was coming from and he apologized and stated I should have thought about that.

I might add, there be many churches that will do many things in order to gain members from like churches or even churches that are not like them. Its much easier to get members that way than to put in the effort to gain members the Bible way.

PS. I was not talking about church hoppers, that is a completely different subject.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I understand what you are talking about Jerry. It's a problem in many areas and not something biblical at all. A pastor or another Christian shouldn't try to get folks to leave one good church for their church. If someone is in a bad church, by all means it's our duty to offer them an invitation to our church, but to try and get folks to leave good churches just to build up the numbers in ours is wrong.

Our motive in getting folks into our church should never be for numbers.

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Stealing members could also be accepting someone from another church who left angry. This seems to be a problem here in the Plains States. Mr. Jones gets mad and leaves the ABC Baptist Church in a huff. Mr. Jones then starts attending XYZ Baptist Church across town and wants to join, and XYZ Baptist Church accepts his membership without question. If XYZ Church accepts Mr. Jones without "clearing the air" from his former church, then Mr. Jones still has "ought" against a brother. In my opinion, Mr. Jones needs to make it right with ABC Baptist Church before XYZ Baptist Church accepts his membership, and it's the XYZ pastor's job to make sure that happens. Mr. Jones doesn't have to agree with the stand of ABC Baptist Church, but at least agree to disagree and then move on to another church.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

This area has had a long standing problem with this, but its not "member stealing" as much as its "church hopping"!!!! People get mad...and instead of getting it right, there are many choices to try next. You wouldn't believe how many people we've met who say "Oh we used to go to your church!" (Before we moved here...) Its almost like our church doors are rotating...people come, people go....only a few really stick, loyal.

God called us here and He knows best...but...I do see the wisdom in the verse that warns against preaching where Christ is preached, lest we build on another man's foundation. When Baptist churches are within 5 miles of each other, there can really be problems!!!!

I'd be careful not to blame pastors for "stealing" though....its the members' decision to leave or whatever. Sometimes people have good reasons for leaving...other times, lousy reasons. Pastors really cannot dictate who joins their church unless there are glaring Biblical reasons not to. If a member informs the pastor of why he left...and says he tried to make it right with the pastor...and the new pastor contacts the old pastor about it...what more can be done? Its the person's responsibility to make sure their heart is right with God...the pastor can only do so much. The pastor is to lead the flock, not be the Holy Spirit in everybody's lives.

People don't understand the importance of the local church these days, that's really what it comes down to. And people are not loyal. They often are not loyal to their spouse, much less their church. Church hopping is a major problem in our day, unfortunately. It should make us sad.

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If a member informs the pastor of why he left...and says he tried to make it right with the pastor...and the new pastor contacts the old pastor about it...what more can be done? Its the person's responsibility to make sure their heart is right with God...the pastor can only do so much.
I'm not saying the new pastor has to mediate the reconciliation, but he can refuse to allow the prospective member to join until all reasonable efforts to resolve the issue have been made. And if the prospective member is in the wrong and joins the new church, what's to say that unresolved issue won't rear its ugly head at the new church? Should the disgruntled member participate at the Lord's table when he/she has unresolved issues with a former church?

If the former pastor is wrong, the member as least should explain to the former pastor why he/she is leaving. Many church members leave without explanation, and the pastor doesn't realize what the issue is until much later. I think the new pastor has the responsibility to investigate why someone left a church to join the new church. If there are unresolved issues, then those need to be addressed, or the new church is enabling a grumbler.

Too many churches accept new members without questioning. Maybe churches should treat prospective members as new employees, with background checks, drug tests, etc. (Maybe drug tests are taking it a little far.) :saint2:
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

It would take me too long to explain the history of the churches in this area....and what happened in them...and why I replied as I did...but I replied that way for a reason and I stand by it.

:coolsmiley:

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  • Advanced Member

I do understand what you're saying, and I may have been more focused on a couple of incidents around these parts. We spent a couple of years in Philly while at the shipyard. Churches there were a bit different, but I thought that was just my Southern upbringing. :th_tiphat:

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

It seems that some have no idea what stealing church members is about, and it can be and it is done many times each year.

I will give an example. Years ago after I had surrendered to preach one night while visiting I got my pastor to visit a man. Let me give some history on this. This man was a member of another Baptist Church, he had surrendered to Preach the Gospel, but had dropped out of church.

While visiting him I made this suggestion, if at all possible he needs to go back to his home church, yet if he felt he could not that I want him to know that he is welcome at our church at anytime.

As we pulled out of the drive way my pastor tried to chew me out, telling me I should never tell them they ought to go back to their home church, but only try and get them to our church. As I said he tried to chew me out, but I explained where I was coming from and he apologized and stated I should have thought about that.

I might add, there be many churches that will do many things in order to gain members from like churches or even churches that are not like them. Its much easier to get members that way than to put in the effort to gain members the Bible way.

PS. I was not talking about church hoppers, that is a completely different subject.


Brother, I've seen the same thing! Some people may take this and run with it, but, I'm glad your pastor apologized and understood where you were coming from!
The message of which I spoke, deals with that very thing!
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I understand what you are talking about Jerry. It's a problem in many areas and not something biblical at all. A pastor or another Christian shouldn't try to get folks to leave one good church for their church. If someone is in a bad church, by all means it's our duty to offer them an invitation to our church, but to try and get folks to leave good churches just to build up the numbers in ours is wrong.

Our motive in getting folks into our church should never be for numbers.


Excellent post!
AMEN!
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Stealing members could also be accepting someone from another church who left angry. This seems to be a problem here in the Plains States. Mr. Jones gets mad and leaves the ABC Baptist Church in a huff. Mr. Jones then starts attending XYZ Baptist Church across town and wants to join, and XYZ Baptist Church accepts his membership without question. If XYZ Church accepts Mr. Jones without "clearing the air" from his former church, then Mr. Jones still has "ought" against a brother. In my opinion, Mr. Jones needs to make it right with ABC Baptist Church before XYZ Baptist Church accepts his membership, and it's the XYZ pastor's job to make sure that happens. Mr. Jones doesn't have to agree with the stand of ABC Baptist Church, but at least agree to disagree and then move on to another church.


The pastor of XYZ also needs to talk with the pastor of ABC and see why one of ABC's members is visiting XYZ, in the first place!
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I'm not saying the new pastor has to mediate the reconciliation, but he can refuse to allow the prospective member to join until all reasonable efforts to resolve the issue have been made. And if the prospective member is in the wrong and joins the new church, what's to say that unresolved issue won't rear its ugly head at the new church? Should the disgruntled member participate at the Lord's table when he/she has unresolved issues with a former church?

If the former pastor is wrong, the member as least should explain to the former pastor why he/she is leaving. Many church members leave without explanation, and the pastor doesn't realize what the issue is until much later. I think the new pastor has the responsibility to investigate why someone left a church to join the new church. If there are unresolved issues, then those need to be addressed, or the new church is enabling a grumbler.

Too many churches accept new members without questioning. Maybe churches should treat prospective members as new employees, with background checks, drug tests, etc. (Maybe drug tests are taking it a little far.) :saint2:


Amen, Brother! Excellent post!
BTW, my answer to your question about the LORD's Supper, is, a resounding NO!
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Why anyone in their right mind would steal a member from another good church is beyond me. The only way they can be stolen is if they are disgruntled. If they are disgruntled with the other church, how long before they are equally disgruntled with my church. Disguntled members are usually problem members and add nothing to the church that steals them but problems.

A member who can be stollen from another church can just as easily be stolen. All the stealer does is encourage disgruntled members of another church to become a disgruntled members of his church. This just encourages church hopping.

If a person comes to a church because of dissatisfaction with his old church, what has he done to rectify it. Has he been to the pastor with his complaint. If not, I don't need him.

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Its not that difficulty for the smooth talkers. They just stay after the person as opportunities are made telling them how much better it would be for them and family if they would come and worship with them. There be some who has it down to a science, they can make a happy church member into a disgruntled church member planting the right words.



Just as the associate pastor said to me a couple of years back, "Y'all ought to close your church down and come join us so that we can be one as Jesus prayed for us to be."

The church he is associate pastor of, they will join together with anyone who will join with them no matter what teachings they hold to. It seems they believe in tolerance, acceptance, and a false unity. They will let most anyone who claims to be a pastor stand behind their pulpit, no matter what church they're affiliated with.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Its not that difficulty for the smooth talkers. They just stay after the person as opportunities are made telling them how much better it would be for them and family if they would come and worship with them. There be some who has it down to a science, they can make a happy church member into a disgruntled church member planting the right words.



Just as the associate pastor said to me a couple of years back, "Y'all ought to close your church down and come join us so that we can be one as Jesus prayed for us to be."

The church he is associate pastor of, they will join together with anyone who will join with them no matter what teachings they hold to. It seems they believe in tolerance, acceptance, and a false unity. They will let most anyone who claims to be a pastor stand behind their pulpit, no matter what church they're affiliated with.


You're exactly right!
That "church" will be here, after we're gone!
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I always thought that a person usually had a visit with the pastor of a church before joining. I assume that any issues would be dealt with before that person ever actually publicly joins the church. Any problems that person had in a previous church, he is probably bringing it right with him, and there is the potential for problems in his new church because of it.

Anyways, I have also been of the opinion that a person often has already left a church in his heart and mind long before the actual break. He is looking for excuses to leave and it won't take much.

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  • 6 months later...
  • Moderators

Canadian churches aren't immune from such things (especially in the bigger cities, where there might be 2-3 good churches within driving distance), but it sure helps that in most of the West the churches are a good hour to three hours apart - sometimes more like 5 or 6! That's an awfully long way to drive...

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  • 8 months later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist



The pastor of XYZ also needs to talk with the pastor of ABC and see why one of ABC's members is visiting XYZ, in the first place!



Shouldn't what we do, especially if we are are a pastor, be biblical and set a biblical example for others? Is calling the other pastor to talk ABOUT his former member the right thing to do? Unless said member was truly a troublemaker like "Alexander the Coppersmith", wouldn't that be talebearing? If you are the "pastor of ABC": what are you going to say about it if "member Jones" tells his side of the story to pastor XYZ? And if pastor ABC does tell his version of whatever the issues are/were, how is his version going to affect pastor XYZ's impression or judgement of member Jones?
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

We have got off subject, this was about churches stealing members.

I always ask anyone I am talking with if they are a member of a church, if so, & they are out of church, I advice them to go back to their home church. Some don't do that, they will do everything they can to get that person to their church. In fact one pastor scolded me quite bad for saying that, telling me never to advise someone out of church to go back to their home church. Try to get them to come to our church. Its quite wrong to do such a thing & I refuse to.

And of course you will have people that get mad over something, some will drop out of church, others will look for another church, that has nothing to do with stealing members.

And to you will have those who have done something wrong & are ashamed to go back to their home church, some of them will seek another church, but that is not stealing church members.

Stealing church members is when a member of another church, even the pastor, goes after a person that they know is a member of a sister church, trying their best to get that person, even a whole family to switch to their church. And it happens, for some that is the only way they know to gain members.

And of course if a member of another church wants to join your church by letter, you are to send a letter to the other church asking them about this person, that is if they would recommend them. Of course that is for churches you would take a letter from, there be many that we would not accept a letter from.

And of course we can take them by statement, if their statement sounds right, that is not stealing church members.

And of course by confession of faith & baptizing.

I do know of & occasion where a man got divorced, went to another church applying for membership while shacked up with a woman that was not his wife & they readily accepted him by statement without a single question after he told them there was a problem at the other church & they might not recommend him.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Could you tell me where "sending a letter" is in the Bible? This is all new to me; heard of it but never done it.

Some of this comes from the letters of the New Testament where the Apostles either commended or warned about certain people.
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