Deacon selection / election

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by SaggyWoman, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman
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    Tell me something. I guess it has been a long time since I have been in a church that does it this way.

    A church I visited this morning (that I visit on a regular basis due to my work obligations...) had a "deacon election" this morning.

    Basically, they chose five men who were "qualified" to be deacons. They then had the five men to agree to be considered (in my opinion agree to be deacons).

    Then today, they chose three of the five to be deacons.

    Why not just choose all five? It isn't like they don't need them. It isn't like they won't be selecting electing deacons in July....If they are all qualified and are all agreeable to be deacons, why not elect all five?
     
  2. Salty

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    Could be that their constitution only calls for a certain number. For example, a minimum of three for the first 25 members and one additional deacon for each additional 20 members, or some such ratio
     
  3. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman
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    No. I looked at their constitution/bylaws, and it said they required a minimum of 1 per 20. but did not say that they couldn't have 1 per 17.

    I am not sure why it would be a big hairy deal anyway to have two extra deacons. Like people are pushing and shoving to be deacons.
     
  4. Salty

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    Then they were going by the "other" constituiton - "thats the way we have always done it!" :smilewinkgrin:
     
  5. SaggyWoman

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    They have only been constituted as a church for maybe two years if that long.
     
  6. matt wade

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    How did all this choosing and agreeing take place? While some people may be put for consideration to be a deacon, and that same person my agree to be a deacon, maybe there is something in that person's life that makes them unsuitable to be a deacon? For all you know, between the choosing/agreeing and the actual "election" of those deacons, maybe two bowed out after they were reminded of things in their life that would disqualify them?
     
  7. Salty

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    Work with me here :tonofbricks: I'm running out of clich├ęs :BangHead:

    Maybe thats how some of the leaders did it in other churches.

    Salty

    wait, I just thought of a really stupid ideal, why not ask them? :type:
     
  8. Trotter

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    In my case of becoming a deacon, the church put forth several possible candidates. All the other candidates were dropped for various reasons including they declined to be considered, past divorce(s), doctrinal differences, and so on. Out of those put forth I was the only one left standing (and gullible enough to still say "yes"). As far as the church knows, I am the only one chosen. The names were submited via a blind vote, so the church does not know all who were nominated or why they were not chosen. While our way is a bit different, it works well. No one is singled out for their failures, and anyone who does not wish to serve can decline without there being a fuss.

    There could be similar issues involved with the two who were not put into office.
     
  9. SaggyWoman

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    I asked one of the deacons being elected why it is this way, and he didn't know. I also asked a church member why it was this way, and they said they really didn't know, but that they needed three deacons immediately, and then they would have another deacon selection election in July, when it "ought" to take place.
     
  10. SaggyWoman

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    If that is the case, their names should not have been on the ballot. At church Sunday, the pastor said they were all qualified and all agreed to do it. To me, that means they were not disqualified.
     
  11. SaggyWoman

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    I get your process. It works.

    The church in (my) question took nominations from Sunday School classes, and then went through a process of evaluation and contact and questioning.

    That is not my issue at all. Great, That is what they should do.

    My bone of contention is that once all have been qualified and agreed to serve, which is pretty much what you have said in your process that I have quoted, why does the church then have to pick and chose three of five when they have already nominated them all anyway??
     
  12. Tom Bryant

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    Picking 3 of 5 sounds like a sure fire way to guarantee a campaign takes place. It also seems to guarantee that 2 men will probably be hurt along with families and friends.

    We do all the vetting in the Deacon board before we present 1 or 2 men to be decided on a straight yes or no vote.
     
  13. Jerome

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    1. The church needed three deacons.
    2. Nominations were taken from Sunday School classes.
    3. [The pastor?/elders?/deacons?/committee?] evaluated the nominees and found five eligible.
    4. The entire church chose the deacons it needed (three).

    Baptists have congregational polity, not monarchical or oligarchical, so the pastor's or elders' or deacons' or committee's opinions are not the be-all and end-all. Having delegated the screening work to a few, the entire congregation finally chooses who will serve them.

    Baptists who have ditched biblical congregationalism for "pastor-as-boss-man" or "elder-rule" schemes would be expected to find puzzling the concept of all the saints actually determining who serves among them.
     
  14. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman
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    This is my theory and point.
     
  15. SaggyWoman

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    It isn't a Baptist church. It is a "community church".
     
  16. Jerome

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    Um, wouldn't being rejected in a straight yes/no vote be more hurtful to the nominee?
     
  17. annsni

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    Here's how we do it in our church (it's under way right now):

    * A ballot is sent to all church members with the name of every "eligible" man in the congregation. I put that in quotes because while there are some who are not qualified according to Scripture because of sin in their lives or whatever, they are eligible by membership and age. By us starting to eliminate names on that paper, it would cause undue gossip so we just put down all male members who are of age.

    * Along with the ballot are instructions to the congregation to choose according to Scripture and the Scripture is printed in the letter. I meant to save the letter to type here for this kind of discussion but I forgot to (sorry).

    * Our constitution/by-laws/whatever state that we have 15 deacons, 5 each in 3 "classes" and they serve a 3 year term. So each year, we need to vote in 5 deacons as 5 have their terms coming to an end. This gives a deacon a way to take time off for whatever reason and to possibly bring in new blood.

    * When the ballots come in, the voting results are posted for the pastors (we have 10 pastors) to go over and see if there are any issues with the top voted men that they know of that would in actuality disqualify them. Those are crossed off the list. Of the remaining men, the first 5 are spoken to about their being voted in and asked if they wish to serve the church in this way. The nominees will pray about it then get back to the pastors. If the first 5 all agree, then it's done. If one or more decline the invitation, then the next men on the list will be asked. When we have 5 new deacons, we're all done.

    * The new deacons are introduced at the Annual Dinner where we also will vote in the new budget.

    Most of the time, the class who's term just expired get voted back in but sometimes that changes. This year we had to vote in 6 men because one of the deacons passed away in November


    Personally, in my own home, I will go through the list of the eligible men and mark off the ones who I think could be good deacons and then I will go over it with my husband. He will tell me "no" on some of them but not always tell me why because of the gossip issue and his access to information that I do not. Some we'll discuss but some he just suggests "no". I can still vote for them but he'll just tell me if he agrees or not. :) This year, that left me with quite a number of men who I could vote for and what is funny is that DH and I ended up voting for all of the same men - the current deacons who's term is expiring and another man who we both felt would be great. So we'll see what happens!
     
  18. Tom Bryant

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    Certainly, but we vet the men we nominate fully before ever placing their names into consideration. For us, getting a new Deacon is a 6 month process before his name is circulated publically.
     
  19. SaggyWoman

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    Honestly, if they make it that far, how often will that happen? Probably not a lot or if at all in a healthy church.


    Certainly eliminating them before they get to the floor of the church is better.
     
  20. Jerome

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    Sounds like how they did "elections" in the old Soviet Union.
     

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