Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hangin' On


It would be interesting to know how many members we've lost -- those who've moved their membership as well as those who haven't but are attending other churches or fulfilling a commitment to a volunteer leadership position (teaching a Sunday School class, working in the nursery, serving in the music ministry, coaching, etc.) until the end of the semester. Judging by the sizes of the Sunday worship service crowds, Bellevue seems to be losing significantly more members than it's gained.

Here are some questions for those who find themselves "just hanging on" or recently departed to consider and discuss:


1. How are you handling the situation? Are you planning to leave when your commitment is fulfilled? Are you serving but not attending worship services?

2. If you have children, how are you explaining it to them? For example, if you're attending Sunday School but not worship services, are you going back home or traveling to another church to attend worship services?

3. If you've already left, whether you've moved your membership or not, how did you arrive at that decision? Was it a difficult decision for you?

4. Do you continue to have fellowship with other BBC members?

5. Do you know of others who have resigned their positions of service because of all this?

6. Do you think there's hope for reconciliation and healing at Bellevue? If so, what will it take?

Thanks to "feelingblue" and "concerned" for this topic idea.

24 comments:

Churchmouse said...

A close and much respected friend recently told me that she was reluctant to join another church because of "trust issues." I am hearing similar feelings expressed by other friends and acquaintances from Bellevue. I feel that way myself.
Rick Warren's "under the radar" tactics, BBCs less than forthcoming disposition, and the coverup of moral failures of BBC's formerly loved and trusted
Board of Directors, Ministry, and staff had taken its toll.

Karen said...

churchmouse,

I feel the same way - I am so overy sensitive to EVERYTHING spiritual right now. I've asked my mom over and over "is that over the top" and most of the time lately the answer has been YES!

I'm also very conscience of the fact that the BBC "refugees" have bombarded the local churches and when or if we join them, we need to be senstive to what's be happening in their fellowship before we came on the scene.

My fear has been since the beginning, that our prescense at other churches (GBC, in particular in my case) would resent the mass influx of BBC members, but really that hasn't happened. GBC members are very sweet to us when we visit - my husband and I will probably join GBC just because things have gone so far that I don't think there's anything that can repair the hurt.

karen

Churchmouse said...

Karen,
We are sadder, but hopefully wiser.

Amy said...

Churchmouse,

Here is a link of questions to ask before joining a church.

Questions?

At least you would know the theology and what the church emphasizes, or not. After what you have been through, and what we at GBC experienced, I'd check out the Bylaws and Constitution and check if they are being followed.

Karen

Thanks for your sweet words about GBC. We have enjoyed the BBC new members and visitors- I hope everyone knows GBC can be a refuge if you need one for godly worship and fellowship.

concernedSBCer said...

Karen and Churchmouse: Seeing what has happened to a strong church like BBC has made me hypersensitive as well. I think we have to be "wise as serpents, gentle as doves" though, so I guess that's the best we can do.

Karen said...

amy,

We are going to have to meet up at the GS seminar GBC - email me next week so we can have a signal! :)

BTW, my father was made a "guest usher" last week at GBC (got a badge and everything) and he was over the moon. That's his calling - to be a greeter, give kids candy, love on folks. I'm such a lucky daughter!

karen

tn_lizzie2000 said...

Karen, Would you give your sweet Daddy a big hug from one of his Kids? :o)

* Word Verification starts with "hugg.." :o)

Churchmouse said...

Thank you Amy, for the link. This is great. I will bookmark this website.

churchmouse

Karen said...

tn_lizzie2000 said...
Karen, Would you give your sweet Daddy a big hug from one of his Kids? :o)

ABSOLUTELY! Email me and I tell him who he's getting hug for. I love hearing that stuff - dad's got kids and kids' kids coming up to him all the time. I think the funniest thing is when visitors would come up to him at the SCT or PP and say "remember me?" He does make an impression, huh?

karen

Amy said...

Karen,

I would love to meet you! I met Piglet last Sunday, and we are friends! If you come back to GBC before GS let me know.

sickofthelies said...

AMY and Karen,

I wanna be friends, too :)

I"ll be at GBC on Sunday.

gopher said...

Has anyone seen The Commercial Appeal article in the Sunday Cordova Section B, entitled "ECS considers move from Cordova site".

Here

Notice the comments made the BBC deacon chairman, Brian Miller, who is also the administrator of ECS.


"They [Memphis City School Board] have looked at our property," Miller said. "We have not made any agreements. They have not made an offer. We don't even have another location in mind at this time."


"Cordova's growth in recent years has landlocked the campus's 40 acres, hindering future expansion.


"Literally, 30 years ago we were on the eastern edge of our demographics. Today, we're on the western edge,"

"And the kind of families who would who send their children to ECS is moving further east." (underline added)

The reporter in the article also states, "With Memphis poised to annex more of Cordova, it's fascinating to Dr. Phyllis Betts, director of the University of Memphis Center for Community Building and Neighborhood Action, that the school would move because of some parents' aversion to city schools."

David Combs is also on the ECS board, which received a $523,425 grant from Bellevue Foundation in 2005.

And 20 years ago, when BBC was preparing to move east, they used the ECS campus as a temporary church where Ken Whitten was the preacher until the Appling road campus was ready.

concerned said...

My family has been visiting GBC. No, we did not want to leave BBC. My grandson was very happy in his SS class. However, we could no longer go into preaching.

It is diffcult enough to teach children right and wrong. When you have leaders that break the law and lie, how do you use them as an example. Actions speak louder than words.

I believe that if you continue to support a group of any kind, you are condoning what they do.

The leadership does not respect the Ten Commandments, so why should a child, that is listening and knowing what is going on in his own church?

We have not moved our membership yet, but I feel sure we will. I do not believe that BBC has a heart for pastoring the sheep.

The leadership does not display the fruits of the Spirit. How sad.

Lots of churches are reaping the benifit of what has/is happening at BBC. Faith Baptist alone had 100 people from BBC to join on one Sunday, I hear.

Amy said...

SOTL,

Piglet looked around for you so we could meet, but didn't see you. I'll be there Sunday- we are friends!

Lynn said...

Right now I'm in a holding pattern. I don't know if I'm going to move somewhere else or not. Whats making the decision so tough is that I am NOT a social person and to leave what I know for a new group of strangers is hard for me.

Piglet said...

lynn said

Right now I'm in a holding pattern. I don't know if I'm going to move somewhere else or not. Whats making the decision so tough is that I am NOT a social person and to leave what I know for a new group of strangers is hard for me.

Piglet says:

You may not believe it but I'm not the most social person either. I'm much braver in my favorite spot on the couch, under my blanket, and behind my keyboard. :0)

Piglet said...

Piglet whispering...

(Oh, and Lynn. There's a lot of familiar faces at GBC these days...)

sickofthelies said...

Oh Great!

Now they are saying that this individual doing the shooting at VA Tech could have been sexually abused as a child.

This is my problem with surmizing this:

They are painting victims of sexual abuse as those who will go on to do things like this. This further victimizes the victims of sexual abuse.

Here's the truth:

A lot of perpetrators were abused, but not all abused children grow up to be abusers.

youthmomma said...

my answers regarding the topic of this thread....

1. We served for a long time without going to the service at BBC but we visited another church on Sun night. We no longer attend BBC but are still members.

2. My children are old enough to know whats going on. You could say they are almost more outspoken than my husband and me.

3. We had made our decision to visit somewhere else when it was evident that the CC meetings were a farce. We just needed to finish some commitments. Not an easy decision because our children gave up more than we did.

4. Most of our friends are BBC members, although most of them are in agreement with us at this point and are starting to walk away from BBC.

5. We know a few who have resigned.

6. I would like to believe there is hope for reconciliation, but I'm not holding my breath at this point.

Teri said...

1. My husband started to explore options a few months ago. I’ve had a harder time. Sundays are tough (I teach on Wednesdays -through May.) I plan to start visiting soon, but love my S.S. class, and my daughters love theirs, too. In there, I feel almost sheltered but still can’t escape thoughts of the many who have left -or been driven away.
I also recently gave up a spot in childcare (part-time, but one I'd held since coming to BBC about 12 years ago.)

2. Our children are older -youth, and know a good bit about things. The oldest often goes to another church for worship. My youngest is still happy and wants to be at Bellevue any time the doors are open, but recently has asked questions suggesting more openness to the truth.

3. (not quite gone yet)

4. Not so much. :(

5. Yes, I definitely know others who’ve resigned their positions due to the troubles.

6. For many months I held out hope for healing and reconciliation, but have nearly given up. Lines have been drawn. People have turned against each other. It’s horrible -and so very sad.

LilOleMe said...

The Questions:
1. We knew the truth about the upper ring of power earlier than most and left when we realized that those who could change things didn't want to.

2. & 3. Our older children were persecuted because of the stand for the truth we took, so there wasn't much to explain-just the facts. The younger ones, didn't understand-but they made the adjustment to our new church much more quickly. It took months for the older ones, but now they are sooooo much better, and glad we did it. Being a BBC member for more than 20 years-(very involved, attending, serving, every time the doors were open), changing churches was the hardest thing I have ever done-HOWEVER- now I realize that it was the best thing I've done.
Folks still hanging on, I understand your position; but you know what?- Bellevue is not the only church that is ministry minded, youth oriented, friendly, etc. as Bellevue( I didn't believe this til I got out and realize that I was a little brainwashed). There is hope, even if your future is not at BBC.


4. Some of my dearest friends are still members of BBC. Although I've made many new and wonderful friends at my new church.

5. yes

6. Yes, a miracle.

I am praying for my BBC friends, and healing!
God Bless You!

concerned said...

Someone please answer me this, how did GBC succeed in what they did? We bascily have the same situation and we are losing members left and right. Staff are being driven off. I just do not understand.

Tim said...

concerned,

GBC only had to keep from losing ground. They already had a good set of by-laws that the church was following. The administration wanted to change them and transition the church toward an elder led government with the pastor choosing the elders.

We on the other hand do not have a system in place to voice opinions or vote. There is no forum available with which to communicate to other members of the concerns for the direction that the church is heading. We did not need a means such as this when the church was being led with integrity and in the truth. We certainly can't say that anymore.

concerned said...

Tim,
Thank you for sharing that info with me.

It is a real shame that a church family cannot sit down and have a discussion, and iron out our differences like a family in the home. What a shame. God must be sad.