It has come to our attention that members of Stanton mistakenly believe they are free to relocate their families anywhere they wish. This is simply not the case. God has ordained every member to be a part of the body where he sees fit, and he’s clearly put us in charge of telling you where that is. Relocating because of a job, school opportunity, or worldly reason like raising your family in a better community is not allowed under any circumstance, unless it is your unbelieving spouse forcing it on you. This way, they take the blame with God for the unauthorized move, not you.
To avoid further confusion, we thought it best to publish an updated list of rules to guide members in relocation decisions. Frankly, you don’t really need to read them; just ask us for counsel, and we’ll tell you if it’s OK to relocate. It probably isn’t. But if you must know the rules, here they are.
Approved reasons to relocate
It is understood that in all cases, counsel must be sought for relocation and approval granted from a teacher. Keep in mind that not all teachers will give the same counsel, so we recommend asking around (carefully, to avoid being withdrawn from for murmuring) to find out which teacher is likely to approve your request.
Remember when you were a child and knew which parent to ask for different things? It’s exactly like that. By all means, develop a close relationship with the most lenient teacher. Here are the most common types of relocation requests granted.
- Non-member spouse is forcing the church member to move. There are no geographic limitations in this case.
- Sick relative needs care. There are no geographic limitations, but counsel must be sought and approval granted.
- Sickness due to climate. This is only acceptable if the member has been told by a medical professional that a different climate would help them feel better.
- Specifically helping a congregation. This is arranged by the church.
- Marriage of two Christians living in different congregations. In this case, one would be allowed to move if they seek counsel and permission is granted.
- Courtship between two Christians living in different congregations. One may be allowed to move with permission from a teacher.
Unapproved reasons to relocate
This is only a small sample of the types of relocation requests that will be denied.
- Better job transfer or opportunity.
- Better schooling or training opportunity.
- Better weather (when health can’t be reasonably blamed).
- Better location to raise a family.
- Better proximity to family.
- Desire to be in a smaller, larger, or better city.
- Desire to be part of a better congregation, or under a better preacher or teacher.
- Desire to be in a better congregation for your teens to find a mate.