Q & A: What About People from Other Churches?

I recently got this question from a friend in New Hampshire who attended the recent Launch Conference that Kerrick and I did here in the city:

How do you handle people from other churches who want to join your church?”

This is a great question that we all should wrestle with.  There are three types of church growth:

Church and Empire State BuildingConversion Growth – when new believers join your church by evangelism

Biological Growth – when children of members are evangelized

Transfer Growth – when a person from another church joins your church

Transfer Growth is the most tricky because there is no clear path for assimilation and because there are two kinds of transfer growth:

Transfer “IN” growth – when a church member from another city or state moves to your city and wants to join your church.

Transfer “ACROSS” growth – when a church member from another church in your city wants to join your church.

I’m not a big fan of Transfer “ACROSS” growth but it does happen.  So what should you do when it does?

For the answer to this question, I’m going to quote our Executive Pastor Kerrick Thomas (my co-author on several books and CLI resources).  Here’s what he had to say:

“As far as handling people from other churches – honestly all we do is to not do them any special favors.  We don’t discourage them from coming in any way.  However, just because someone has served in a leadership role in one church doesn’t mean they automatically get to do so here.  We have a leadership ladder at The Journey. And if you want to serve in leadership in the church – you start by serving others in entry level positions and earning your way.  We have seen church plants put people from other churches in positions of leadership right away because they know how to do things and have been Christians for a while – but unless that person has bought into the vision of the church (and worked through baggage) then it usually ends with discontent and them spreading that discontent to others who were otherwise happy.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself – thanks Kerrick and thanks for the question from New Hampshire!  If you have a question, send it over – just use the “Ask Nelson” button on the right.

Nelson Searcy

P.S. If you haven’t yet joined the thousands of people who have read my NEW Report on Organic Church Growth entitled “Healthy Systems, Healthy Church,” check it out here.

P.S.S. Kerrick is beginning a new Tele-Coaching network exclusively for Executive Pastors in June.  Click Here to download an application or for more information.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

Nelson SearcyAssimilation, Launch

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