I recently discovered a declining church in our area has looked to my former church for some sort of help. I listened to podcasts, and the meetings were very interesting. The direction seems to be a slow take-over by my former church. *If* this melding happens, the small 50 member church will be under the authority of the eldership of my former church. They will also get a new name, and no one can answer for sure who will own the paid off property from this little church. Another issue is that this little church with it’s long history, has a Christian school that appears to be doing pretty well.
I found a podcast of a meeting also on my former church’s site, and combining all podcasts available (for transparency), I hear a few concerns. First, a church is down to 50 and that is deemed a failure. This is now an emergency according to both parties (actually, there’s some 3rd party involved) and because of this, the small church must be lead by the larger church. I hear on the podcasts that the small church is going to get 3 pastors, at least one from my former church, one from outside (I think…it’s different) and the 3rd may currently be in leadership of the small church. I am not clear on this exactly, but there is not a vote or anything really (they mentioned a vote of affirmation…). The smaller church is likely going to get a name change, and the arrangements for the school are going to change. One woman was very foward in asking why this little church wasn’t contacting former members who had left for help or relying and waiting on God instead of going to a big church to come in and run things. Others have asked why my former church elders have to be in authority rather than the pastors and leadership at their site. The leadership of the smaller church keeps mentioning (in podcast) the pastor who will be teaching there not from my former church who they like but have not met…but like him because people who have met him like him. Uh…okay.
Seems my former church is bringing a team over???and so is the outside pastor guy no one has met from the little church. So, there will be familes coming in and becoming a part of the whole thing. The three parts joined are to make decisions, but of course, my former church elders are really the ones with authority.
I really feel very bad for this little church. What say does the congregation have? The focus is so much on outreach to the community with growth as the hoped end. However, I only heard the word “worship” mentioned by one woman talking about how the little church has family worship. The mention of glory to God, focus on Christ, being bible centered is not a factor. It’s all business. Sad.