Costi Hinn, nephew of televangelist Benny Hinn, has identified five types of “dangerous” church members and encouraged pastors to protect the “precious bride of Christ” from such individuals.
In a recent blog post, Hinn, pastor at The Mission Bible Church in Orange County, California, explained that while no pastor should ever be “callously eager for church members to head out the door,” they must make every effort to “protect the flock from divisive members who prove to be more inclined to subterfuge than support.”
“Sure, there will be plenty of seasons when difficult church members need thick-skinned pastors who will offer counsel, exhibit gentleness and patience, and be longsuffering. That is the job,” he said. “But are there times when a pastor needs to brush the dust off his feet and let church members huff and puff out the door? Absolutely.”
The first kind of dangerous church member, Hinn said, is the “money manipulator,” a person who either gives significantly to the church to “manipulate their agenda,” or they refuse to tithe because they don’t get their way.
“This kind of church member completely ignores imperatives for generous giving without strings attached (1 Timothy 6:17-18),” he said. “Sometimes, they know a lot about church because they grew up in it, served on a deacon board, or perhaps even hold a seminary degree. Unfortunately, all of their experience and knowledge doesn’t translate into supporting or submitting to the church.”
Second, the “sideline spectator” is an unhealthy church member, Hinn said, because their pride holds them back from using their gifts to benefit the church and serve others.
“When VBS needs volunteers, the food pantry needs a cook, the campus team needs ushers, or the children’s ministry needs a teacher, they shrug it off with sentiments like, ‘Let the paid guys worry about that. That’s why we put food on their table,’” he said.
The third type of dangerous church member is the “extortionist,” or an individual who uses their position or wealth to manipulate a pastor’s message.
“Horror stories abound of elder boards and influential families putting a pastor in the position of, ‘do what we say or end up homeless,’” Hinn shared. “This heart-breaking reality is actually one of the reasons why denominations and church associations are so beneficial. They can usually help find the pastor a new church to serve.”
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Source: Christian Post