From house churches to mega churches, almost all churches steal sheep.
For some groups, this is the primary method of numerical growth: “Oh, you don’t like your church? You should come to mine!” Studies have shown that over 80% of church growth in the United States is nothing more than people transferring from one church to another. One church’s growth is often another church’s decline.
But is transfer growth all bad? Is sheep stealing always wrong? I’m not so sure. Here are some of my thoughts on the subject. Add yours in the comment section below.
1. Sheep stealing shouldn’t be your goal.
Reaching unchurched people should be the goal. I agree with Ed Stetzer when he says, “Many churches in North America have ‘called the righteous’ with better teaching and more programs. Advertising claims of ‘programs for the whole family,’ ‘quality Bible teaching,’ and ‘full-featured choirs’ seem designed to attract members from other churches. But Jesus claimed that he had come to call outcasts rather than the righteous. Like Jesus, the planter must seek the unchurched” (Planting Missional Churches, 43).