One of the biggest issues with growing churches is what to do with people who rock up to your church but who are members of another church.
If the person hasn’t been going to another church for a while or they have moved into the area there is really nothing to do. Welcome them and start ministering to them.
But what happens if they come and they don’t like their old church? Or what if they just want a change?
I know of some pastors who as soon as they get a new person from another church they try to integrate them into the life of their church straight away.
But should they do this?
I am not too sure they should.
I think if we have a new Christian who comes to our churches we must do the following:
Discern as to whether there was a specific issue(s) for leaving their last church. This is crucial because if there was an issue(s) at their old church we need to see if there needs to be reconciliation between them and members of their old church. We also need to know what kind of baggage (sin or other baggage) they are coming to our church with because, as we know, everyone has baggage.
We also need to notify their old pastor of them coming to our church. This is so that the pastor knows that they are being cared for but also to get insight on how he, as their former pastor, pastored this person. This also brings clarity to a situation that could be fraught with charges of sheep stealing.
At an appropriate time, we need to talk with them about being part of their new church. We don’t want Christians who do not commit and so we want to encourage this new person to be fully committed to their new church. Therefore, we will encourage this person to commit to doing our membership course, committing to a bible study, and supporting the church prayerfully, financially and by serving.
What do you think? Have I missed anything?