While I sympathise with Paul Levy to some extent (and I always sympathise with Paul!) in his latest blog post on Ref21, it isn’t fair always to say that a man seeking to gather a core group for a new church plant is actually trying to steal sheep. There are those who are reckless ill-disciplined sheep-stealers, but not all.
Core-gathering can and should be done in an orderly way with consultation with the elders of neighbouring churches and their permission, as we have done here in Solihull. That is not stealing. When a place is identified as a location for a church plant, there will often be Christians in the locality for whom there is no suitable church and are travelling far to get to a church. They may have been praying for a new local church, and a sensible church planter turning up is the answer to their prayers. The right thing, of course, is for that member of a distant church to seek the wisdom of his/her eldership about joining the church plant, and the planter ought to have good relations with that eldership. Then an orderly transfer can take place.
But that is not sheep-stealing!
What do you think? Read Paul’s post here: gathering a core or stealing the sheep? – Reformation21 Blog.