Church membership for pastor/called staff

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Gary D, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. Gary D

    Gary D
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    Hello everyone. My family and I joined our church a year ago. Our church has a new pastor and youth minister. Both men have been here approximately 3 months. Neither one nor their families have joined our church. Is this unusual?

    I was reading our constitution and it does not state that “called staff” or “other paid staff” be members, however “elected positions” and “committee members” must be members!

    I’m just wondering if this is the norm with most other Baptist churches.
    Thank you.
     
  2. rbell

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    unless they are interims, that is very unusual IMO.
     
  3. Gary D

    Gary D
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    They aren't interims. I find it very odd.
     
    #3 Gary D, Aug 2, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2006
  4. SBCPreacher

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    I've never heard of a staff member who didn't immediately join the church - family and all. Something doesn't seem right about this.
     
  5. Joshua Rhodes

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    I joined immediately, and after I got married, my wife joined the following Sunday. Frankly, I've never known of a pastor/staff NOT joining upon coming aboard.
     
  6. Tom Bryant

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    Has anyone asked them about it?
    Could be an oversight or just an assumption that they were.
     
  7. El_Guero

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    Pardon me for getting right to the point: but it sounds like you called some really immature ministers.
     
  8. StefanM

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    I think you are crossing the line there. We haven't heard enough here to know that, and if this is simply an oversight, your comment is misinformed at best and slanderous at worst.
     
  9. rbell

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    There are churches that allow you to join without "walking the aisle." Is this one of those churches? That would explain an oversight.
     
  10. Gary D

    Gary D
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    Hopefully it is an oversight on my part, I may be concerned for nothing, hope to find out for sure tonight.It surely will not be the first time I've made a wrong assumption. I apologize for my ignorance of the term "walking the aisle", do you mean a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ and majority vote by members present? So far every new member has presented themselves this way.
     
  11. El_Guero

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    You just failed to follow your own advise. I guess that is what you call an oversight, or was that slander?

    Whether you think I crossed the line or not, based upon what was stated, it sounds like they hired some youngins'. If you would prefer my saying that they sound 'young' or inexperienced over immature, that is your preference - same semantic domain of meaning. None of this changes what was written.

    Now about that crossing a line . . . how do you know about that little bit of history? Is that you 'John'? Now 'John', you know I won't be the first in the family to cross that there line, don't you?

    ;)

     
  12. El_Guero

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    Yes, I think he means a public profession of faith, or joining the church. Some fancy newfangled churches nowadays let folks join by signing a card. If they just sign a card, then they may not have to join publically.

     
  13. menageriekeeper

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    Well now this is an interesting question and I have no firm answer as to how my own church handles but this is what I think:

    When we "call" a pastor it is put to a church wide vote. Yea means we church folk approve the call and then membership comes with the call. In essence by calling the man to pastor we are asking him to join our congregation. If he accepts he is then becomes a member without further ado. Since a pastor's family must come with the call they are members by default if saved and baptized. Younger children become members upon baptism.
     
  14. GospelExplained.com

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    This can then leave the family & pastor members of two churches (or more).
     
  15. Joseph M. Smith

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    I have some experience with this issue, on both the "sending" and the "receiving" end. When I was called as pastor to my church in DC, of course my wife and son and I joined immediately. When shortly thereafter the Assistant Pastor resigned to accept the call to a pastorate, I said something to him about the transfer of his membership, and he replied, "Oh, no. This church [i.e., the one he was leaving] will be my home church. I wouldn't want to leave my home church." Since that time, about twenty years ago, he has moved into yet another pastorate, but remains on the DC church's membership roll.

    Later we called another Assistant Pastor, and when she came on board, she said, "I'd like to have my membership remain at the church where my husband is pastor, if that's all right. I'd like to be supportive of him in that way." I agreed to it, because in some ways formal membership is just that -- formal -- and we were going to have her fully functioning anyway.

    Hey, by the way, the topic is NOT women in ministry, so leave me alone on that one <grin>!

    We later called another Assistant Pastor, after the one mentioned above left, and this one simply said, "I'll not be moving my membership, as the church I came from has been my place of nurture." But when, after my retirement, she chose to leave our church, she told the congregation when she resigned, "I will be moving my membership to another church." Sounds as though being on staff equated to church membership!

    Now .. here is the real point of this extended history. In the African-American church, quite often membership is retained in the congregation and/or the denomination from which one comes, but one serves in another church or even in another denomination without actually, technically joining. That was news to me when I first experienced it, as I had always assumed that staff positions meant membership. But not all traditions are the same.
     
  16. rbell

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    I couldn't imagine going to serve in a church for an indeterminate time (that is, something other than a summer missions position, etc.) and not joining that church. When I go to serve in a church, it becomes my church family...with all the fun and frustrations therein.

    Like I said before, there are some churches that allow you to join without walking the aisle (I'm primarily referring to those baptized believers who would transfer their membership). That's one possibility. If this person is serving for a short, or pre-determined amount of time--then it also makes sense.

    Otherwise, I can't think of a reason why they shouldn't join the church.

    Now Gary, you didn't spook them or anything, didja? :laugh:
     
  17. PeterM

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    Maybe they know something you don't:smilewinkgrin:

    Certainly seems odd, but defintely not the end of the world.

    The question I would ask is if you believe they are somehow not performing well in their work?

    If they are doing a good job... great! They have no say however in matters of church business, unless there is some clause in the constitution/bylaws that grant them that privilege. Who is typically the moderator when the body is called into business/church conference?

    Blessings,
     
  18. tinytim

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    funny story here....

    I took pastorate April 2, 2006.. we, my family and I, meant to come before the church that morning to move my membership. I FORGOT!

    The church business meeting was the following Thursday, so I could not moderate it or speak in it.. just set there and observed.

    Well, they did allow me to give advice when they wanted it.

    See what ADD will do to you?
     
  19. Lagardo

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    I've served three churches on staff (two as youth pastor, one as pastor). The first, asked my wife and I to come forward and join on the first Sunday. The second church held that since I was voted on as youth pastor, then church membership was a given. The secretary simply sent off a request for our letter. When I came to pastor the current church, I asked the chairman of the deacons what ws expected with regards to joining the church. He didn't know and assumed that being voted on as pastor included church membership since the pastor is an officer of the church. We read through the consitution and couldn't find anything to the contrary so I asked the clerk to send a request for our letter. She didn't want to do that without a vote of the church. The next meeting was a business meeting which I moderated. toward the end, I simply asked the church to vote my wife and I as members as well, and that made the cler feel comfortable requesting our letter.

    Strange things we baptists do about church membership.
     
  20. mnw

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    That's funny TinyTim, almost the exact same thing happened to me and my family. :)
     

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