Business Meeting

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Phillip, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. Phillip

    Phillip
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    6,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was quite shocked this weekend when I heard a pastor complaining about people who question things like his large raise suggested by the finance committee among other issues.

    One of the members of that church, who is a salesman, who used to work at one of those little "rip-off" finance companies and the pastor worked out the salary increase to hide it down in his expenses.

    The pastor kept saying that he was amazed that nobody complained about the budget when it was voted in. I told him that there were very few people in the meeting and they were the older folks that don't gripe about anything.

    Then he said something that surprised me: He said, "I guess that people who question things in a business meeting must justify what they are doing in their minds--otherwise they wouldn't be doing something like that."

    I was shocked because this is not the first time that he has indicated that asking a question in a business meeting or expressing a negative opinion regarding a report that is brought up by a committee or the deacons.

    I know pastors like to think they are right, but don't most Baptist churches practice an open forum to discuss and vote?

    The second thing the pastor told me was that he should get a higher PERCENTAGE of salary increase than everybody else in the church. So he got 5% the song leader 4% and the part time workers 3%. I mentioned to the committee that this would cause the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer--in other words, over time the part time people never had a chance of staying up with salaries and a larger spread would occur.

    I think it is fair to figure out a raise that is across the board, because the pastor of that church (not mine) gets the equavalent of a person paying full taxes in the secular world of about $80,000 or $90,000 while preaching at a church that averages 140 in Sunday School.

    I know him socially, and he told me one day that he would always get a bigger percentage than anybody, because if he doesn't people won't respect him as the leader of the church.

    My opinion is that everybody who is working hard should get the same percentage, because the rest of the people are paid so low that the percentage only gives them a little bit compared to the pastor anyway.

    What say you? Also, tell me if you are a pastor or not when you discuss this. I want to find out if this is a typical belief among pastors and why they feel it is wrong to question issues in a business meeting.
     
  2. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/Ed.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2002
    Messages:
    15,715
    Likes Received:
    0
    Phillip: //One of the members of that church, who is a salesman, who used
    to work at one of those little "rip-off" finance companies and
    the pastor worked out the salary increase to hide it down in his expenses.//

    What is with the 'hide'?

    I've been in the same church for 2005-1973=32 years.
    I'm on our 5th pastor. We tell him how much we are
    going to pay him, let him figure out how he will get it.
    One big expense was (he is on Medicare now) Health
    Insurance - 22% of his compensation package.
    (our secetrary used to have insurance for her 60ish
    husband - a full ½ of her take-home-pay :( )

    We do try to give a slight increase each
    year - aging doesn't get any cheaper :(
     
  3. guitarpreacher

    guitarpreacher
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    759
    Likes Received:
    0
    Quote: "The pastor kept saying that he was amazed that nobody complained about the budget when it was voted in. I told him that there were very few people in the meeting and they were the older folks that don't gripe about anything."

    If I'm reading what your saying, the people that are now complaining did not bother to show up to vote on the budget. If that's true, they are wrong, are causing division in the church, and need to repent immediately and then hush.
     
  4. blackbird

    blackbird
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    11,898
    Likes Received:
    2
    As for percentages of the staff raises---here's the "skinny" on what we did--I as Pastor

    Custodial workers raise of 6%


    Salaried Youth minister raise of 5%(and believe me--he deserves every dime--the dude is "the bomb" and loves the Lord Jesus Christ!!)

    Myself--as Pastor---a raise of 3%

    My 3% was worth "way more" than the custodian's 6%

    But I tell ya what "gets my goat"---its these lazy Baptists who won't come to business meeting to discuss and vote any raises----but when its all over---they gripe and fuss and belly ache and yak-yak and bak-bak over who got what and what was fair and how come this and how come that and why this and why that!! I wouldn't give you a Lincoln penny for a lazy baptist---and its almost Christmas!!!!! :eek:
     
  5. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am of a pastor.

    IF the people didn't show up to the business meeting to discuss and vote, then they have no reason to complain.

    IF the pastor needs a higher raise then anyone else to have respect, then he has bigger problems then people not showing up at a business meeting.

    With respect to the expenses, that is a common way to divide up a pastoral salary. I wouldn't worry about that.

    However, to give everyone the same percentage raise is unnecessary and perhaps unwise. Pay people according to their work in the church.
     
  6. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    People will always complain. Spurgeon says in one of his books that the church should take the pay of the ten highest paid deacons and average that and pay the pastor that amount.

    If people in the church complains about a pastor's salary after the fact then they should either get to work or leave.

    When I worked as a manager in a very large business I received as much as a 60% pay increase in one year by the company. I also worked hard to bring in business and showed it in their profit and sales. The lowest raise I received was in a church where the nickels and noses increased by 2.4 times in a little over one year. They had never had much money and once they saw more they started saving for a rainy day. They became greedy. Their greed came back to haunt them though. All they had except $3,000 was gone in one swoop because of a bad investment. Earlier I had advised them against and they went against me. So the amount they had saved for a rainy day was gone. Eventually some of the people began to complain in the church thinking that since the nickels and noses had increased so much that they should have given me more of a pay raise. So that caused problems too.

    The amount with which you are generous will come back to you.

    Prov. 11:25, "The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered."
     
  7. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    I would say pay people according to what they have accomplished not just how hard they worked. Some people work very hard and do not accomplish as much as others who are more efficient and have better training.
     
  8. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Messages:
    15,125
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with Pastor Larry.
     
  9. WHYME

    WHYME
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have found if you question anything, especially finances you have a "suspicious nature and a rebellious spirit".
     
  10. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    But some people have ministries where the work is paid off in easily seen fruit, and others not so much. IT is not always about efficiency and better training.
     
  11. guitarpreacher

    guitarpreacher
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    759
    Likes Received:
    0
    Depends on the timing of your question. If your question comes after the fact, and you didn't participate in the budgeting process, then yes, you are showing a rebellious spirit. If not rebellious, then at least a divisive spirit.
     
  12. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Messages:
    15,125
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you have questions come to the business mtg and ask them.

    The ones that are problems are those who complain and criticize but do not take the time to come to the meeting to share their views.
     
  13. Phillip

    Phillip
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    6,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    My post was so long, that I think a few are missing my point.

    The point has nothing to do with the people who might have gripped about the budget.

    My question is: Is it WRONG for anybody to question things in a business meeting. Apparently, this pastor thinks that if something is brought to the floor, people who question it are wrong. His quote was: "People who question things brought to the floor must be justifying what they are doing in their mind."

    My opinion---that is what a business meeting is for--to discuss these issues.

    This pastor, although he seems very solid and conservative--goes out of his way to cover things that he thinks will be contriversial. He does NOT like anybody who questions anything, especially a budget where he has a tidy raise.

    He will go out of his way to make excuses for things, rather than just be honest with the people. I do not believe he does this on purpose--but, it has become a very bad habit of his.

    He even asked some of the financial committee members if there were other jobs open at a certain place for his wife--they started explaining to him that there were good jobs open and he broke into the conversation and said, OH I don't want her going back to work, it would be bad for her health. This was his way of telling that he needed a raise--rather than just saying, "I would like a raise."

    Do ALL pastors consider a person who questions an issue in a business meeting as being evil, just because they question it?

    THAT is my question.
     
  14. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Messages:
    15,125
    Likes Received:
    0
    No not at all. I think questions and healthy debate about things can be very good for a church. It helps keep things in balance.

    I do know pastors who cannot stand questions of any kind in a business meeting. For whatever reason they take it as a personal attack on their leadership. I think it is just an inflated ego.
     
  15. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/Ed.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2002
    Messages:
    15,715
    Likes Received:
    0
    In our church the Business Meeting moderator
    is elected from non-Staff members. Also
    the recorder (so can't be the Secretary).

    This has worked well for 12 years. We started
    it with the last pastor, but this pastor
    likes to sit in the audence and bring
    forth the questions. [​IMG]
     
  16. Phillip

    Phillip
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    6,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    My thoughts exactly PastorSBC1303. Thank you.

    Good idea Ed. I like the idea of a Business Meeting moderator instead of a pastor. This would also help prevent the pastor from taking it so personally.

    I see this as more of a character flaw that this pastor is unaware of. ...or has at least justified in his own mind. After all, we are ALL human and nobody is perfect.
     
  17. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,641
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here's my massive 2.5 years of experience on this matter:

    In the past, I would get offended, too...because I thought that I've spent much more time on this issue, and my life is invested in this work - while they invest approximately 3-5 hours a week...why can't they see that I'm right?

    Some of the time, I have been right...but maybe not all the time. I have since learned (again) that we must consider all viewpoints, and not immediatly jump to conclusion that members who voice their opinions are simply following their carnal nature!
     
  18. Bible Believing Bill

    Bible Believing Bill
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/bbb.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    3,761
    Likes Received:
    0
    Members should ask questions a discuss the decisions being made in a business meeting. If I am to vote either for or against something then I should be informed on the subject. If I am only to vote the way the pastor tells me to vote then my vote means nothing.

    Sometimes discussion can lead to something better coming along. At our last business meeting it was brought up that the church needed a new copy machine and one of the deacons had a couple of prices of new machines. I asked one simple question "Has anyone checked into leasing a machine vs. buying one?" No one had and when the Deacons checked it out they found we could lease a new machine with a maintenance contract for about $60 a month less than the cost of the maintenance contract on the old unit. Then at the end of the three year lease we could buy the machine for $1, and we had no large outlay of money for a new copier right now.

    Without the discussion would have spent a couple of grand on a copier and still have had to pay a maintenance contract. Discussion can be good as long as it is intended to be discussion. If your point is simply to be right then you are better being quiet.

    Bill
     
  19. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,971
    Likes Received:
    128
    Been there, done that. The catch is of course, that at the end of three years the machine is so worn, used and outdated that it is probably worthless anyway.

    Good point anyway.

    We have pre-meetings to keep discussion to a minimum during these general church business meetings.
    Anyone interested can attend, comment.
    Hopefully by the time of the business meeting, a consensus of opinion has been achieved so the meeting will go smoothly and without rancor.

    Rob
     
  20. larry9179

    larry9179
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    I came from a Southern Baptist background where you usually had more members show up for business meetings than you did for worship services. People would argue for hours about the color of the carpet, or whether to pad the pews, or whether the ice machine should deliver crushed or cubed ice.

    Fortunately I now belong to a church where we only vote on three things: The hiring of a pastor, the dismissal of a pastor, and the annual budget. Our elders make all the other decisions, and I agree with this form of government. Anytime you make your people vote, you're dividing the church. Sometimes you're on the winning side, sometimes you're on the losing side; and if you stay there long enough, everyone will end up a loser. Voting is an American concept, not a biblical one. It's not found at all in the scriptures; in fact, dice were thrown to decide who would replace Judas.

    As to a pastor's salary, and I can say this because I've been part of the pulpit committee, the finance committee, and an elder and deacon in my church. You can't equate what you earn or what the median church member earns to what your pastor earns. Most pastors have a college education. Most pastors tithe. Most pastors are on call 24 hours a day. You don't just hire a pastor, you hire his wife and family. A pastor's wife is expected to look and act a certain way. All the whining and complaining doesn't just get dumped on the pastor, it gets dumped on the wife and kids as well. Most pastors are required to do things above and beyond what Christ has called them to do: visit the sick, perform weddings, funerals, etc. The purpose of a pastor is to equip the congregation for their own ministry - not to do it for them.

    And I suppose the most wrong attitude about paying a pastor is the attitude that your tithe actually belongs to you to begin with. God demands the first fruits and He has purposed those tithes so that there will be food in His house. What kind of food do you get in church? Spiritual. This means that it is God's intention that the tithes are to support His ministers and to care for the poor and widows (elderly).

    In biblical times, people brought their tithes to the temple. These tithes were for the priests who were not given land when Israel moved into the promised land. The temples were built from offerings, not from tithes. And if you read the description of Solomon's temple, you'll see that it would have cost hundreds of millions in today's dollars - so God's people gave more in offerings than they paid in tithes. And they did this because they loved the Lord and wanted to honor Him. But if you look at how we 'do church' today, you'll find the building fund coming out of the regular tithes...which is necessary because only 20 percent of Christians are tithing anyway. If everyone did what God demanded, there shouldn't be anyone in our communities who are going without food, clothing and shelter. God doesn't need impressive structures today because His Spirit lives within all of His children.

    The world should be coming to the Church instead of the government to have their needs met, but the modern church has adopted a worldy viewpoint and we're too busy worrying about how what isn't even our's is spent. If you've got to control how your tithe is spent, you might as well have kept it, because you haven't released it spiritually and God can't bless what you won't let go of.
     

Share This Page

Loading...