Post Reply
Switch to Forum Live View Contact with former congregants by former Pastor
3 years ago  ::  Sep 20, 2011 - 4:59PM #1
jrpoole59
Posts: 2
My daughter (living in another town) belongs to a Presbyterian church where she lives. Six months ago, the church released its pastor and hired a new one. The former pastor moved to a new church a few towns away. Early this month, the former pastor contacted my daughter and suggested she stop by for a sermon at his new church.

There were ( and are ) no sexual overtones involved and I'm not worried about that. But I am curious if it is acceptable according to Presbyterian rules or polity, written or unwritten, for a pastor to contact congregants from a former church in what seems to be a recruitment effort. 

Many thanks for any feedback.

Jim 
Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Sep 23, 2011 - 2:01PM #2
CalKnox
Posts: 330

It should be considered unethical for a pastor to intentionally seek to persuade a member of another congregation, especially of his own denomination, to change their membership without some good reason, such as a difference in theological belief or worship practice. Such should be reported to the new pastor, and possibly to the presbytery.

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Sep 23, 2011 - 2:11PM #3
jrpoole59
Posts: 2

Thank your for the information. Is this documented in the Presbyterian Book of Order, or any other place?

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Oct 20, 2011 - 2:54PM #4
CalKnox
Posts: 330

At present, I don't have time to search the PCUSA Book of Church Order; if indeed, this is the denomination to whcih this congregation belongs (there being a number of Presbyterian and Reformed denominations in North America).  I myself am a minister of the Orthodox Presbyterian denomination.

But, such action could be seen as attempting to undermine another church in the same denomination and presbytery.  I wouldn't even do this to a non-Presbyterian church.  Persons should only be encouraged to consider another congregation because they've moved, circumstances have changed making it more difficult to get to their current church, their beliefs regarding doctrine or practice have changed from those of the congregation to which they belong, or their current church is teaching heretical doctrine.  In the last case, if the two congregations are part of the same denomination, a complaint should be brought to the presbytery rather than trying to steal their sheep behind their back.

On the other hand, I'd encouage all congregations and members of the PCUSA to consider whether their church still exhibits the essential marks of a true church if Jesus Christ.  If not, come out of her. 

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Oct 26, 2011 - 8:45PM #5
sterrettc
Posts: 89

There is a code of ethical conduct which can be found at www.pcusa.org/media/uploads/_resolutions....


In this PDF document there is an introduction, then the code of conduct for members, then for employees, then for ordained officers, then an expanded one for ordained officers with examples and references.  On what is page 9 of the PDF but is marked as page 3 is the briefer Ordained Officer part.  I would direct you to Part II, paragraphs 15 and 16.


"I will ...


"15. Participate in the life of a ministry setting I left or from which I have retired only as directed by presbytery;


"16. Provide pastoral services for a congregation I previously served only as directed by the presbytery and provide pastoral services to members of other congregations only with the consent of their pastors;"


That said, I think you should express your concerns to the former pastor rather than going first to the presbytery or other authority.  If you don't get a satisfactory response from him, then you can procede otherwise.

Quick Reply
Cancel
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook