I remember way back when I was first hired at Granger that Mark Beeson talked about the importance of attending the church where you work. At first I thought he was joking–I had never heard of anyone working at a church where they did not attend. He told me of several situations where that was unfortunately true.
I wrongly assumed it was a dying pattern.
In fact, the number of churches I’m hearing about who hire staff members to do “jobs” rather than “ministry” is increasing. Recently, I learned of a large church that had a senior-level staff member who attended a different church. He sat on the leadership team, making decisions about starting and stopping ministry programs at a church he did not even attend. I learned of another church where staff members in the accounting department were prohibited from attending the church.
I know of another church with a preschool where the teachers do not attend the church–in fact, they even bad-mouth the church to the parents of the children.
I think I know where this comes from. I think pastors have been burned so they make policies to reduce potential conflict.
Somewhere along the way, they had to fire someone, and that person left the church in a huff with all their friends and family members. So they said, “Never again.” They figure it will be easier to manage conflict if the individual doesn’t get rooted in the church.