Ad Spot
Michael Brooks

How to change churches successfully

Michael Brooks
Pastor of the Siluria Baptist Church in Alabaster

I’ll never forget the family I met at a neighboring church years ago while leading a Bible study. They were happy in their church, I thought, but several years later they presented themselves for membership in our church. The interesting thing is that there was another church in between, so ours was their third church in a short time.

Church growth researchers report that people are changing churches with greater frequency today. And “brand loyalty” is a thing of the past, too. I have an evangelist friend who used to lament people changing denominations–he preached, “it doesn’t hurt to change labels on an empty bottle!” But these days it’s often not a matter of theology. People seem to be more interested in youth and music programs than denominational affiliation.

When Christians leave a church for another it’s called “transfer growth” as opposed to “conversion growth.” Since thousands of Americans are unbelievers, enlisting them must be our primary task, though it may be a harder task. But there’s nothing innately wrong with Christians changing churches if done thoughtfully and prayerfully.

A good reason could be a change in residence putting them out of reasonable driving range. Another reason I’ve seen is change in circumstances, such as children leaving home or, regrettably, divorce, and starting over in a new place.

But there are bad reasons, too. I’ve known pastors who took pride in announcing their “capture” of those from other congregations.

These are certainly unworthy practices. Churches are partners and every church is important in the kingdom of God.

The fact is that sometimes people change churches due to hurt or anger, and their pastor may be unaware of this. Pastors can’t read minds and want to know if there’s an issue deserving attention.

Changing churches shouldn’t be done due to brokenness without an attempt to solve the matter. After all, the new church, like the old, is made up of imperfect people–just like a marriage–and conflict is sure to appear in any relationship. Wise Christians seek to keep friendships intact.

A pastor friend told me about getting an email from a family stating they were leaving, and he was disappointed in this kind of casual communication from active leaders. I think church members who consider a new church should talk with their pastor first and offer an explanation.

If we change churches, we should have nothing but love, gratitude and goodwill for the one we leave behind

News

‘Electric Jesus’ scheduled to shoot scenes at skating rink in Valley next week

News

Troup County Schol System approves GPS technology for buses

News

AMEA and its members kick off 2020 scholarship program

News

Alabama sets new unemployment records in July, job growth surpasses national growth

News

Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project to start construction on another home

News

West Point Councilwoman receives certificate of excellence

News

Lanett mayor says new development may spur more interest

News

Troup County looks at new 911 technology

News

Former Chambers County bookkeeper pleads guilty to stealing $300K from probate office

News

Wood has eyes on next Legislative session

News

DA: ‘Bama fan who poisoned Auburn trees not making repayment

News

West Point Council discusses Depot rates

News

Group requests changes to LaFayette cemetery ordinance

News

Shumate visits Troup County schools

News

Paramedic to open a fun, family, community wrestling academy

News

Benefit ride supports long time officer and TCSO deputy Billy Baker

News

Valley football coach talks to Valley Kiwanis Club

News

Valley declares home public nuisance

News

Heat wave forecasted to cease

News

Chattabrewchee moves tasting room to Columbus, will continue to brew beer in West Point for now

News

West Point Council signs off on tax reduction for Mobis expansion

News

Valley native overcomes cancer to umpire Little League World Series

News

Commissioner Douglas Jones graduates from training institute

News

New Springwood Head of School Lowrie McCown looks to improve on Springwood’s success