When I posted the "church pirate" video on my blog last month, I knew there would be response. I hoped there would be. And based on the amount of response I've received, this topic is one that reaches deep and cuts close for many, many church leaders.
I didn't shoot this video as a personal vendetta. This wasn't based on some fleeting emotion. It wasn't done out of spite. I did this video because pirating is something that I have seen happen to far too many churches.
Too many people have joined the movement of a certain church only to later siphon resources (staff, money, etc.) from that church and begin their own work just down the street. Rather than partnering, they are pillaging. And it has led to the damage and destruction of many good churches and great church leaders.
My hope is that as light is shed on this controversial and often taboo topic we, as church leaders, can have some healthy discussion about the reality of planting versus pirating. And as the dialogue continues, I pray that we can all join together to support those leaders who are truly starting new churches the right way and finally keep the pirates at bay.
-Ed Young Jr. is the founding and senior pastor of Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas.