Membership transfers are part and parcel of church life. When someone transfers to a new area one of the priorities they should have is to find a church that they can commit to. However, the issue of people transferring membership whilst living in the same location is a more vexed issue.
There can be many reason why someone wants to transfer membership. Perhaps their doctrinal views have changed or their church has stepped away from following the Lord. Whatever the reason there is something concerning about people shifting church allegiance.
One of the issues is that the receiving church can start to feel that they are being successful because new people are coming into the church. However, we must never forget that these people are not coming into the kingdom of the Lord they are just shifting around within the kingdom of the Lord.
If after due enquiry people do want to move to a new church and commit to that fellowship then that is all well and good and can be of great benefit to the receiving fellowship. We have certainly had cases like that at Feltham. However, that church should not be starting to think that they are being successful. Success, if I dare use that word, is when the Lord is drawing people to Himself in the community and they are being added. The pattern is set in the first church at Jerusalem. where we read that the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:47b). Now that’s exciting!
One further negative of transfer membership is that it can lead people away from evangelism. The church members can start to think that the church is doing fine we don’t need to reach out to others so earnestly. Oh what a problem that is.