A local church was in the process of merging with my former church (this former church has used seeker friendly methods as well as seems to be going the way of spiritual formation). The leadership of the little church “asked for help” according to the recorded meeting I heard online. The little church actually is an older church, paid off property with a private school. It’s an older church than my former church and has been declining sharply in attenders.
The plan, as lined out in a meeting opened up to both the little church and my former church, was that the little church would combine with my former church (I’ll call it big church for simplicity). Big church came in and said they offered to help financially and also would bring a group of people over to little church to attend. They also were going to have their elder board take over decisions for little church. Big church was bringing a pastor, and then little church was keeping a pastor. Another pastor was also coming in. Little church owned their property outright, and the deed of that property might go to big church…no one seemed to answer for sure.
Little church would likely have new leadership, new people attending, but also would have a new name. Things were going to change. Eventually, big church was going to step back and let little church stand on it’s own (but not until it was successful on it’s corner…after it had been lead by big church elders with two pastors they had not hired themselves).
The question of what would happen to the school came up, and I’m not sure what the plan was. The big church leadership mentioned the school becoming a non-profit seperate from the actual church. This was complicating things for sure as the decisions about the school came from the little church. Many in little church worked in the school.
Well, I began praying for little church. Other prayed as well. Little church took a vote, and it’s been announced on big church’s website that little church has “decided not to accept” help from big church. Hopefully, little church can now find a way to sustain itself without giving themselves over to a big church with transformation on the brain, or even the latest seeker friendly trend. I cannot assume that little church doesn’t believe in the same kind of things big church does. It may have all been based on power and finances. I can only hope though that little church saw through big church and discernment won out.