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JESSUP One of the greatest problems a new church planter faces will be the answer to this question. “What do I do when someone comes to our church from another good Baptist church.” Every pastor eventually faces this dilemma and how he handles this can either make or break a ministry. The other side of this dilemma is, “What do I do when someone leaves our church for another good Baptist church. When an individual or family makes this decision it involves two pastors and two ministries. It is very important for these pastors respond in such a way that this person or family is helped rather than hurt. According to Ephesians 4:11-12 every pastor has a biblical responsibility to mature believers. These verses are clear. “And he gave some, apostles; and some prophets; and The church is ediﬁed by the some evangelists; and some, pastors and maturing of the saints but teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the church is built by Christ. the body of Christ.” If a pastor will build The goal is to make the believers, Christ will build His church. Christ saints complete not to build said in Matthew 16:18, “I will build my church.” a congregation. The church is ediﬁed by the maturing of the saints but the church is built by Christ. The goal is to make the saints complete not to build a congregation. Christ will do that when we do what He has asked us to do. Therefore, it should be the concern and responsibility of every pastor to consider what is best for believers. However, often this is not the case. Pastors think of how this person or family may beneﬁt the ministry and help in building the young church. Pastors of these new churches take people from other good churches without even considering what the “real” situation is with this family. Many do not contact their pastor and let him know the family is attending their church. Sadly pastors do not work together to help these believers. They listen to gossip and criticism that shouldn’t be listened to. They believe half-truths about other pastors and Satan uses these believers to drive a wedge between men who should be working together to help build believers in the faith. This is an awkward situation for all involved and in most cases this is not resolved properly. It would be helpful to follow several guidelines that may be beneﬁcial to this family when all is said and done. First of all, every pastor should make it a public policy in their church and to other pastors in the area, that as soon as a person or family attends their church more than once in a short period of time, they will contact the pastor of that individual and let him know they have attended. It may not be necessary for the pastor to call when a family
If they have spiritual problems (many of them do) then their pastor can help them see that the new pastor must know . It ought to be the desire of both pastors to help this family in their Christian life and this joint visit could do much to accomplish this. he will do his best to rectify or clarify these problems with this family so this family can serve the Lord without carrying “baggage” from the previous church. First of all. this family will understand that these pastors want to work together to help this family and they feel they are on the same team. he will refuse the joint visit with the family and tell the other pastor to just go ahead and work with the family. the pastor should immediately call their pastor and let him know that this family has attended their church more than once. He should not allow this pastor to tell him anything about this family if the pastor indicates there are problems with them. Having said that. This joint visit could be the very help this family needs. He should then ask the pastor how he should proceed. the pastor should not visit or communicate with this family after they come for one visit. The new pastor is unable to help a family that is hiding these problems because they think it will not affect them in this ministry. He should welcome them and be friendly but not make any overtures to this family to return for a second time. this family will have to face the reality of what they are doing and are not able to give reasons that are not accurate. the pastor should follow up with another call to the pastor and let him know that this family is still attending the services. He should ask the pastor to follow up with this family with a visit and that he will be praying for God to use the pastor to help this family. With both pastors present. Secondly. The reason for this is because this is in the best interest of the family involved and both churches. It may be they just wanted to come and be a blessing to this young church. He should ﬁnd out if the pastor visited the family and the results of the visit. If that is the case. This joint visit will also allow the pastor of this family to understand just why this family is attending the other church if he has not met with them previously. First of all. This could be a difﬁcult visit for the former pastor because there may be problems that this family brings up that are of a personal nature. Every seasoned pastor knows the problems will reoccur if not dealt with properly. When a family makes a second visit. it will not allow this family to say something about either pastor which may be untrue or “colored”.visits one time because there may be some extenuating circumstances that brought this family to their church. They have only one desire and that is to help this family be where God can use and bless them. he will do one of two things. If this family continues to attend the services. He should also let the pastor know he has not visited or written even a thank you letter for attending the services. Hopefully the pastor will be willing to do this. This is not a good option because there will be issues that are unresolved which may affect the spiritual well being of this family. He should then suggest to the pastor that they make a joint visit with this family to see if they can help them. Secondly. He should make it clear to this pastor that he has not and will not make any overtures to this family to attend their church.
Sadly. Some families may not continue to attend when they know the new pastor knows the spiritual problems they are bringing with them to the new ministry. A pastor has a man in the church that is a good man. One day he begins to miss Wednesday evening and then a Sunday evening or two. many pastors have just the opposite reaction when someone leaves that is not in unity with their ministry. They need to understand they and “hide” these problems. The pastor visits this man and ﬁnds he is going to another good Baptist church in the area. He all of a sudden begins to miss and eventually isn’t around at all. When a pastor thinks logically about this he will react as Brother Ouellette suggested.about these problems. If this family begins to make accusations about the previous pastor he will be able to see that this family is not the kind of family he wants in his ministry.” Ask any pastor if he wants a family in his church that is not in unity with the ministry he would say. The new pastor will see these issues and be able to deal with this family effectively because he knows the problems up front. It may be that the pastor feels hurt because he couldn’t get this family to follow his leadership but the fact is that not everyone thinks like we do. Psalm 133:1 says. If they act that way in the previous church they will carry out the same actions in their church. They will cause problems and may end up destroying the church. It is very unwise for a new pastor to take in people that have these difﬁculties. He said that Baptist preachers are a strange lot. The same thing happens with another man in the church. However. and serving the Lord faithfully. He is growing. “Absolutely not”. Pastors often talk disparagingly for months and years about people who left their ministry for another good ministry. He went on to say pastors get bitter and upset about the second man but hardly pray and eventually forget about the ﬁrst man. If that is the case then this family is not willing to face their problems and that will be carried over to the new church. B. “Behold. he quits all together. Pastor R. He isn’t all that faithful but attends and gives. Eventually. many pastors think it will be different when they get under their ministry but it is not the case. Ouellette shared an observation with this writer several years ago that is helpful. . attending all the services. The pastor should then let them know that they are not welcome to attach themselves to their church through membership and should remain in their previous church and work out the problems they have. Why is that? Is it because they want the ﬁnancial or physical help? Likely this family was not helping anyway. The pastor goes to visit him. Also. cannot just go to another church This joint visit could be the very help this family needs. how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. This visit could also help the new pastor see that this family will give their ministry nothing but problems. in most cases this is not true. Pastors get bitter and harbor resentment about members who leave their church for another good Baptist church. Sadly. He said a pastor should be upset and hurt about the ﬁrst church member and happy for the second. He is faithful to all the services and serving the Lord. this family may not agree to meeting with their former pastor. pray for him but eventually just go on with the ministry.
All of these are good things and pastors should develop policies that will lead to these results. Dr.” This is a very true statement when pastors will work together to help their families Baptist church. it may keep some individuals or families from pitting one pastor against another. if these guidelines are followed it may help in several ways. When a family leaves the church that is not in unity with our church isn’t it better to have another good Baptist church they can attend? Dr.It could be just a personality difference. pastors may remain friends and work together for the successful growth of all the believers. . “Every good “Every good Baptist church Baptist church helps every other good Baptist helps every other good church. It is unlikely these suggestions will solve all the “people problems” when someone decides to leave a good Baptist church to attend another good Baptist church.” serve in unity in a local church. Jim Townsley once said. There are some people you can’t please or help no matter what a good pastor does. However. A third result may be to help retain harmony and unity not only in local churches but between local churches. Jim Townsley once said. Secondly. First of all.
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