Vol. 8, No. 3
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To proselytize means "to recruit someone to join one's party, institution or cause." The Pharisees were avid proselytizers. Jesus said, "Ye compass land and sea to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves" (Matthew 23:15).
Some in the church are quite active in proselyting in order to give the congregation of which they are a part the appearance that it is growing. Some local churches are growing but not by conversions. About 75% of those added to local memberships are transfers from other congregations. Some churches are getting smaller (losing members), while others are swelling at their expense. Thus, it might be said that these congregations are not growing by the regeneration of the lost, but by the relocation of the saved.
If a brother or sister in Christ is happy in his association with a faithful congregation, we do that church a great disservice if we seek to entice that person to leave that congregation and come over to ours. It is different, however, if one desires for some good reason to relocate, and transfers his membership to another congregation. Then, there is no good reason why some should not seek to encourage that brother or sister to join hands with them in working and serving together in the Lord's cause.