Winston Salem Mega Church: Tells Freeloading Members to Get Lost!

 It appears that Bellwether Mega-Church Faith Community located in Winston-Salem, NC  took a strong stance and sent their non tithing members packing calling them free loaders.  While I understand that the church can’t survive on air.  It also can’t just close the doors on people who can’t afford to pay.  Maybe restrict some of the programs or services you offer non tithing members but I don’t agree with telling them to find someplace else to worship.  This, however happens frequently with many mega churches. So many  are mega because they don’t give to the poor and needy within their own community.  They instead send them to the little small community church around the corner or down the street.  They do what is called a referral center.  And yall already know what I am going to say about this, Chile Please!  I thought we was suppose to save the lost not help get rid of them.


WINSTON-SALEM — Julie and Bob Clark were stunned to receive a letter from their church in July asking them to “participate in the life of the church” — or worship elsewhere.

“They basically called us freeloaders,” says Julie.

“We were freeloaders,” says Bob.

In a trend that may signal rough times for wallflower Christians, bellwether mega-church Faith Community of Winston-Salem has asked “non-participating members” to stop attending.

“No more Mr. Nice Church,” says the executive pastor, newly hired from Cingular Wireless. “Bigger is not always better. Providing free services indefinitely to complacent Christians is not our mission.”

“Freeloading” Christians were straining the church’s nursery and facility resources and harming the church’s ability to reach the lost, says the pastor.

“When your bottom line is saving souls, you get impatient with people who interfere with that goal,” he says.

Faith Community sent polite but firm letters to families who attend church services and “freebie events” but never volunteer, never tithe and do not belong to a small group or other ministry. The church estimates that of its 8,000 regular attendees, only half have volunteered in the past 3 years, and a third have never given to the church.

“Before now, we made people feel comfortable and welcome, and tried to coax them to give a little something in return,” says a staff member. “That’s changed. We’re done being the community nanny.”

Surprisingly, the move to dis-invite people has drawn positive response from men in the community who like the idea of an in-your-face church.

“I thought, ‘A church that doesn’t allow wussies — that rocks,’” says Bob Clark, who admires the church more since they told him to get lost. He and Julie are now tithing and volunteering. “We’ve taken our place in church life,” he says. •