A few months back a little church in our area was about to be absorbed by my former church. I had friends who used to attend there, and they were saddened by this possibility. Because meetings were recorded online, I was able to hear the dealings and felt very uneasy about it.
The church being overtaken was seeking “help” from my former church. They were loosing attendance. From those I spoke to, the attendance went down when a new pastor came in and changed things. This pastor also asked my former church for help.
The deal was sweet for my former church. It would be elder control of the church being helped…including possible economic advantage and control of paid off property to my former church. There were to be three pastors of this church. One from my former church, one from somewhere else that the congregation did not know (who the heck found this guy and who chose him?), and the current pastor of the helpee church.
One wrinkle, the helpee church also had a school. They were very worried for their school. My former church was going to make the school a non-profit organization and I’m not even really sure what was to become of the school.
My concerns of course were that this church was being taken over and run over by my former church without an awareness of the dangers. My former church had many doctrinal problems in teaching, and this new takeover was going to make the congregation accountable to outside elders. The school was going to be in the hands of these elders. The little helpee church voted against this. Yeah!
I just found out great news. It seems the little church has gone to a very conservative Presbyterian church in the area and is merging the school with the Presbyterian school. The Presby church is Reformed and strong. It also appears there is no economic gain for the Presby church, the merge seems like a good thing. I’m very happy to see such an expansion/merge occur in an area where many churches are networking that are like my former church…into Purpose Driven/Spiritual Formation/Missional stuff. Most new church plants are the same stuff. It’s nice to see a needy church that was nearly swallowed by a Spiritual Formation church actually link arms with a Reformed church NOT into seeker friendly garbage.