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Church Planting Recruitment under the Guise of Friendship

When churches first start being built, the whole process can be very draining. Generally, the person starting the church (referred to as a church plant) is the one planning on being the preaching pastor. They are responsible for gathering people, finding locations, logistics, and all of the teaching (obviously).

At the beginning of the year I learned of a guy who was starting a church nearby. I had practically never spoken with him but we had met. Eventually I was approached but it was under the mask of a friend informing me of his project seeking “prayer”. And my wife and I did pray for this most challenging endeavor. We remembered the efforts when we prayed as a family. Eventually he asked my family and I to consider being members. I didn’t oppose to being asked but actually expected it. However, being a church plant by nature we were looking for a more established church that was still solid in the teachings. I do think this church will be solid confessionally, however given how many churches close its doors each year, one can’t deny the risky venture.

Eventually I would tell him that my wife and I didn’t think this would be a place for us. Initially it appeared to be handled with maturity. But what I soon found was that the man who barely spoke to me before, then spoke to me multiple times a day, would turn back to barely speaking to me at all.

Obviously what I find interesting is the falseness of using friendship as a lure to bring in membership versus just being honest. Perhaps give out a flier and say “think about it” versus playing the role of friend only to disappear. In the end the person comes across as disingenuous and makes me realize I was right in passing on the “offer”.

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