If there is one thing I have learned over the years of being involved in church work it’s this – people naturally gravitate towards others of like kind. That can be a good thing, and it can be a bad thing.
For example, if someone new shows up to our church who has been a troublemaker in their last church, they will soon find the troublemakers in our church and flock together.
On a positive note, if someone new shows up to our church and their life gets radically changed by the power of God and they buy into the vision, they will soon be attracted to people of like kind and will become a blessing to the church and to each other.
I have developed pretty good radar over the years to make these kinds of silent observations and it helps me anticipate the future. This is a lesson that I have tried to communicate to our staff also; that they should stand back and make silent observations about people and not be too hasty plugging them in to a critical role. There have been many occasions when I have said in a leadership meeting that so-and-so will eventually get upset about something and create a stink, months before it even happened! Then sure enough, it happens. Likewise, there have been other occasions when I’ve said, “I think such-and-such a person has amazing potential,” and over time, prove themselves to be an asset.
This is not rocket science, nor is it mysticism - just practical observation. It's easy to tell what kind of church member a person is going to become just by the company they keep.
Romans 16:17-18 (KJV) 17Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Philippians 3:17 (KJV) 17Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.