It is our church’s policy that people who are already believers may not join our church. This stems from our commitment to focusing on leading non-believers to the Lord. But it is impossible to impose this policy strictly. Some people who come to live in Houston for a year or two plead that their pastors in Korea asked them to learn more about the house church by joining our church. Others insist that they should be allowed to join our church so that their non-believing spouses have a better chance of becoming Christians. Some simply continue to attend house church meetings and Sunday worship services even after they’ve been warned both verbally and through a formal letter that they are not allowed to become members. So we cannot help but make some exceptions for people who move to Houston to join our church. However, no exceptions are made for those who are members of local churches in Houston to switch to our church.
People from other churches exhibit idiosyncrasies which may be characteristic of the churches they attended. Some people seem very zealous but are slow to serve. Others seem to have good relationships with God but refuse to have relationships with other members. Some are knowledgeable about the Bible but misinformed about churches and other Christians.
What kind of impression do our church members give when they move to another city and attend another church? Because of their house church experience, they may be skilled in sharing. Because they are used to service, they may serve others well. They might have good relationships with people. But their new pastors may not view them favorably. They may turn their new pastors off by talking too much about Seoul Baptist Church. They may also appear to be unsubmissive because of their tendency to not follow someone without a good reason to.
I want our church members to be welcomed when they join other churches. I want them to become co-laborers with their new pastors. In order for that to happen, they need to accept ministry styles that differ from ours. And they need to accept leadership styles that differ from mine.
People who come to Houston from Korea with no previous experiences of Christianity and become believers through our church have a hard time finding churches when they return. Some do not join a church for an extended period of time because they cannot find a church that is exactly like ours, with a pastor exactly like me. They need to learn that there are many ways of doing ministry and many different leadership styles. I pray that they find a church quickly and become faithful church members.
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