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What Is A Fellowship Pastor Really Doing?

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  • Ken
    What a man who is sent out to pastor a fellowship church thinks he will be doing, and what he will actually be doing is very different. He thinks he will be
    Message 1 of 3 , May 22 10:29 AM
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      What a man who is sent out to pastor a fellowship church thinks he will be doing, and what he will actually be doing is very different.  He thinks he will be reaching the world for Jesus, raising up disciples, and being a part of the most powerful last day movement of God on the Earth today.  What he really will be doing is getting as much resource out of a rotating membership as he can.

      One time, when I was pastoring in Albuquerque, I pulled out an old copy of The Gospel Pioneer, which is the Tucson church's equivalent of the Trumpet.  This copy was about 8 years old, and it had a picture of the people in the church posing in front of the building.  As I scanned over the picture I noted that about 80% of the people in the photo were no longer attending the church.  Yet, we were running slightly more people than we were back then. 

      Almost every serious member of the fellowship eventually leaves.  I am not talking about fringers.  I am talking about people who were on all kinds of outreaches, in music groups, in acting troupes, who were ushers, who opened in prayer, who gave tons of money, who were in all the services and prayer meetings, and many other such like things.  They eventually leave.  They don't just get a better job in another city and move away, but they leave because they see through the fellowship in one way or another. 

      The problem is that they leave in what I call "slow motion."  In other words, it happens so gradually that you tend not to notice how all encompassing it is.  When I looked at that photo on the cover of that Gospel Pioneer, it had the necessary shock effect to give me a wake up call.  I was looking at these people who were like what I just described.  They were totally serious members of the congregation, but now they were gone.  They had been replaced as they were leaving by new members, and so the church actually grew a bit as they left, but they had at one time been the main members. 

      Fellowship churches, which have been around for a while, don't tend to bring out old photos of their churches.  If they did, they might get the wake up call that I got.  People who leave are forgotten, even if they were at one time well known, rock solid members of the church.  It is rather shocking to look at a photo of one of these churches from 10 years ago, if you were around back then.  But that's another problem.  Most serious members don't stay 10 years.  And, most churches don't keep the same pastor for 10 years.  So who's going to even remember these people? 

      When I had been in the fellowship for about 7 years, and had been pastoring for about 3 years, I thought that we had great retention.  There were many in the Tucson church who had been there during my time there, and I would see them at conferences.  I even made the comment to one of the Gospel Pioneer reporters that one of the great things about our fellowship is that people stayed in the church.  Over the years I came to realize that I had spoken prematurely.  As I would come back for conference over the years, more and more of the members of the church in Tucson, who had been there when I got sent out, were gone.  It was shocking, after several years, how few were left. 

      What is a fellowship pastor really doing?  They are presiding over a rotating membership and getting as much "mileage" out of them as they can.  Sure, in some of the larger churches there are these handful of people who have been there for some incredibly long time.  But for the most part, in the older, larger churches, over a period of about 10 years, the membership is mostly replaced.  How many members of the Perth church, who were serious adult members when Mike Mastin took over the church in the mid 80s, are in that church today? 

      The fellowship has been planting churches for about 37 years now.  You would think that they would have quite a number of churches with 1,000+ members.  They have never had a church with a thousand people.  Certainly not in the U.S.  One of the strangest things to watch over the years was fellowship churches freezing at a certain number.  A pastor would be given a church of 300 people, stay there for 20 years, and it would still be running 300 people.  But it wasn't the same 300 people.  I asked a woman who was in a church that was just like that, running 300 people, how many original members were in the church from when the pastor took it over 20 years before.  She told me there were 10 left.  Yet, it was still a powerful leadership church, because it had 300 people, and all the resources that go with having that many tithing slaves.  It didn't matter that the slaves had different names. 

      So, fellowship pastors are doing anything but reaching the world for Jesus.  They have done more to create people who never want anything to do with church again than any other group I know of.  Even the vast majority of the pastors themselves leave.  When I think of the original leadership it is stunning that they are almost all gone. 

      Still people buy into the lines about "all of Asia" forsaking the Apostle Mitch, and now God is going to do a "new thing."  God had to get rid of the old guard so that He could move powerfully.  God is purging the church.  Well, as someone who has observed this group for 35 years, I can tell you that your name is on the list for one of the future purges.  And then there will be people who remain in the church who will say that God removed you so that God could do a "new thing."  No, it's same old thing.  Lock them in, burn them out, and replace them.  That is what fellowship pastors are really doing. 

      Shalom
      Ken

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Escape_from_the_Fellowship/ 

       

       

    • anjelikmora
      Hi, Im new here and reading everything on here is so true. I left The Door Christian Fellowship a few months ago and feel like im lost like I have no where to
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 30, 2010
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        Hi,
        Im new here and reading everything on here is so true. I left The Door Christian Fellowship a few months ago and feel like im lost like I have no where to turn but to go back there although i dont want to. I dont know if to believe any other pastors . The pastor at the Door always use to say things that made me doubt any other church out there. Like that church is where you need to be that is where you belong, although manytimes i didnt see things the way the pastor did or in my heart i had a doubt about some of their beliefs. Anyway i hope to find a church where i can find out who god truly is i know he is a loving god. It is true the door gives you this sense that if you dont do things the way they do you have bad spirits or your rebelling or they make you feel like a total outkast. Like before you make any decision you need to consult with them and follow their decision not your own because what theyre saying is what god would be saying and to not follow it would be a sin. Hope that i can get in touch with someone that can help. A christian woman would help.

        --- In slamthedoor@yahoogroups.com, "Ken" <kenhaining777@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > What a man who is sent out to pastor a fellowship church thinks he will
        > be doing, and what he will actually be doing is very different. He
        > thinks he will be reaching the world for Jesus, raising up disciples,
        > and being a part of the most powerful last day movement of God on the
        > Earth today. What he really will be doing is getting as much resource
        > out of a rotating membership as he can.
        >
        > One time, when I was pastoring in Albuquerque, I pulled out an old copy
        > of The Gospel Pioneer, which is the Tucson church's equivalent of the
        > Trumpet. This copy was about 8 years old, and it had a picture of the
        > people in the church posing in front of the building. As I scanned over
        > the picture I noted that about 80% of the people in the photo were no
        > longer attending the church. Yet, we were running slightly more people
        > than we were back then.
        >
        > Almost every serious member of the fellowship eventually leaves. I am
        > not talking about fringers. I am talking about people who were on all
        > kinds of outreaches, in music groups, in acting troupes, who were
        > ushers, who opened in prayer, who gave tons of money, who were in all
        > the services and prayer meetings, and many other such like things. They
        > eventually leave. They don't just get a better job in another city and
        > move away, but they leave because they see through the fellowship in one
        > way or another.
        >
        > The problem is that they leave in what I call "slow motion." In other
        > words, it happens so gradually that you tend not to notice how all
        > encompassing it is. When I looked at that photo on the cover of that
        > Gospel Pioneer, it had the necessary shock effect to give me a wake up
        > call. I was looking at these people who were like what I just
        > described. They were totally serious members of the congregation, but
        > now they were gone. They had been replaced as they were leaving by new
        > members, and so the church actually grew a bit as they left, but they
        > had at one time been the main members.
        >
        > Fellowship churches, which have been around for a while, don't tend to
        > bring out old photos of their churches. If they did, they might get the
        > wake up call that I got. People who leave are forgotten, even if they
        > were at one time well known, rock solid members of the church. It is
        > rather shocking to look at a photo of one of these churches from 10
        > years ago, if you were around back then. But that's another problem.
        > Most serious members don't stay 10 years. And, most churches don't keep
        > the same pastor for 10 years. So who's going to even remember these
        > people?
        >
        > When I had been in the fellowship for about 7 years, and had been
        > pastoring for about 3 years, I thought that we had great retention.
        > There were many in the Tucson church who had been there during my time
        > there, and I would see them at conferences. I even made the comment to
        > one of the Gospel Pioneer reporters that one of the great things about
        > our fellowship is that people stayed in the church. Over the years I
        > came to realize that I had spoken prematurely. As I would come back for
        > conference over the years, more and more of the members of the church in
        > Tucson, who had been there when I got sent out, were gone. It was
        > shocking, after several years, how few were left.
        >
        > What is a fellowship pastor really doing? They are presiding over a
        > rotating membership and getting as much "mileage" out of them as they
        > can. Sure, in some of the larger churches there are these handful of
        > people who have been there for some incredibly long time. But for the
        > most part, in the older, larger churches, over a period of about 10
        > years, the membership is mostly replaced. How many members of the Perth
        > church, who were serious adult members when Mike Mastin took over the
        > church in the mid 80s, are in that church today?
        >
        > The fellowship has been planting churches for about 37 years now. You
        > would think that they would have quite a number of churches with 1,000+
        > members. They have never had a church with a thousand people.
        > Certainly not in the U.S. One of the strangest things to watch over the
        > years was fellowship churches freezing at a certain number. A pastor
        > would be given a church of 300 people, stay there for 20 years, and it
        > would still be running 300 people. But it wasn't the same 300 people.
        > I asked a woman who was in a church that was just like that, running 300
        > people, how many original members were in the church from when the
        > pastor took it over 20 years before. She told me there were 10 left.
        > Yet, it was still a powerful leadership church, because it had 300
        > people, and all the resources that go with having that many tithing
        > slaves. It didn't matter that the slaves had different names.
        >
        > So, fellowship pastors are doing anything but reaching the world for
        > Jesus. They have done more to create people who never want anything to
        > do with church again than any other group I know of. Even the vast
        > majority of the pastors themselves leave. When I think of the original
        > leadership it is stunning that they are almost all gone.
        >
        > Still people buy into the lines about "all of Asia" forsaking the
        > Apostle Mitch, and now God is going to do a "new thing." God had to get
        > rid of the old guard so that He could move powerfully. God is purging
        > the church. Well, as someone who has observed this group for 35 years,
        > I can tell you that your name is on the list for one of the future
        > purges. And then there will be people who remain in the church who will
        > say that God removed you so that God could do a "new thing." No, it's
        > same old thing. Lock them in, burn them out, and replace them. That is
        > what fellowship pastors are really doing.
        >
        > Shalom
        > Ken
        >
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Escape_from_the_Fellowship/
        > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Escape_from_the_Fellowship/>
        >
      • Ken
        anjelikmora said: [Hi, Im new here and reading everything on here is so true. I left The Door Christian Fellowship a few months ago and feel like im lost like
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 30, 2010
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          anjelikmora said:

          [Hi,
          Im new here and reading everything on here is so true. I left The Door
          Christian Fellowship a few months ago and feel like im lost like I have no where
          to turn but to go back there although i dont want to. I dont know if to believe
          any other pastors . The pastor at the Door always use to say things that made me
          doubt any other church out there. Like that church is where you need to be that
          is where you belong, although manytimes i didnt see things the way the pastor
          did or in my heart i had a doubt about some of their beliefs. Anyway i hope to
          find a church where i can find out who god truly is i know he is a loving god.
          It is true the door gives you this sense that if you dont do things the way they
          do you have bad spirits or your rebelling or they make you feel like a total
          outkast. Like before you make any decision you need to consult with them and
          follow their decision not your own because what theyre saying is what god would
          be saying and to not follow it would be a sin. Hope that i can get in touch with
          someone that can help. A christian woman would help.]

          Hi.  Welcome to Slam the Door.  I primarily post here messages from my main message board, Escape from the Fellowship.

          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Escape_from_the_Fellowship/

          Just cut and past it into your browser if you want to check it out.  We allow ex members of the fellowship who have remained Christians, as well as those who now have non Christian beliefs, to share their experiences of being in and getting out of the Door, the Potter's House, CFM, etc. 

          For a message board that is more strictly Christian oriented you can check out Freedom From the Potters House.

          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/freedom_from_thepottershouse/

          As far as a Christian woman to communicate with, I would suggest you email Linda at

          llddgregory@...

          Just tell her that Ken Haining gave you the email address.  She is a pastor's wife, and she and her husband left the fellowship about 9 years ago or so.  They now pastor an independent church. 

          Hope that helps.
          Ken




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