Does your church vote on pastoral leadership?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by JonC δοῦλος, May 4, 2014.

  1. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,941
    Likes Received:
    370
    I have always wrestled with the church being governed by the congregation … mostly for one reason. I worry that the congregation may very well reject a pastor due to a resistance to the truth being preached. For me this issue is theoretical, but I see it as a possibility. That said, I have always attended a church that elected its pastor and leadership by a congregational vote. The church I attend now is/was that way. What is odd to me is that we now seem to have our leadership dismissing and calling pastors. They present them and allow the congregation to welcome them, but by the time they are announced it is a done deal.

    Several years ago our newly called senior pastor announced that one pastor had resigned in order to follow another opportunity. In reality he was on a mission trip and the senior pastor told him to resign or be fired. A search committee found a replacement who was being called to the ministry and to our church…it was, basically, a divine appointment. In reality the replacement pastor was a friend of our new pastor from his previous church and had no pastoral experience. Now we are welcoming a new pastor who was chosen by the leadership (he is a friend of another pastor at our church). The leadership calls the replacement and the church is welcome to affirm that calling…but the called pastor is already chosen. This is done behind the scenes by the leadership.

    So here is my problem. I don’t mind a church not being governed by the congregation, but I do mind the deceitfulness of our leadership. If we are no longer governed by the congregation that’s fine…as long as it is in the bylaws and the members affirm the new form of church government. But even then, I feel it is wrong of the senior pastor to lie to the congregation regarding the reasons for the replacement. Anyway…just venting I suppose. I love the church and our senior pastor is an excellent preacher (I believe some of the other pastors just needed a job).

    How does your church dismiss and choose pastors?
     
  2. go2church

    go2church
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    4,304
    Likes Received:
    6
    Congregational vote.
     
  3. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    Our church chooses the pastor by a congregational vote.

    Regarding associate pastors and staff, this is my opinion: The pastor must be able to surround himself with people with whom he is compatible and who share his vision.

    When I was called to be minister of music at my church, the congregation took a vote. The pastor knew me and recommended me, so it was unanimous.

    However, I have made it clear to each of my pastors over the years that although the church elected me, it took only one vote to get rid of me. His.
    If he wants me gone, I'm gone.

    That said, I do think a new pastor should take some to evaluate the staff he inherits when he becomes pastor. Staff such as church secretary, custodian, etc., should be handled with kid gloves, I think. Pastoral staff are somewhat a different story, although the pastor does need to take some time to evaluate how they work together. And any changes he wants should be prayerfully considered. Bottom line, though, they work for him.
     
  4. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,941
    Likes Received:
    370
    I understand the senior pastor choosing his staff…to a degree. I think that my pastor has done a good job (he inherited a bit of a miss and has done well getting things put back together and even moving forward). I do wish that there was more transparency in these decisions and more honesty in the process. I don’t think that this pastor changed the process… and perhaps we gravitated away from congregational vote years ago anyway (although we wouldn’t admit it).
     
  5. salzer mtn

    salzer mtn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2012
    Messages:
    1,581
    Likes Received:
    26
    If you have a pastor that you really enjoy his preaching that is the main thing. Nothing can take away from good preaching, however none congregational pastor voting can lead to a preacher staying to long to the point he just re-preaches his sermons over and over.
     
  6. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    How about this scenario:
    The pastor wants to schedule revival services. Does your church allow him to unilaterally set the dates and pick the evangelist? Can he also invite a music evangelist without the church's voting on it?

    May he also determine how those evangelists will be paid? Love offering from the congregation? From the budget? A combination of the two? How much?
     
  7. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Messages:
    8,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    None of the above. The deacons will determine if, when, where, and how any church activity is scheduled, though the senior pastor and other pastoral staff, have plenty of input. He will suggest the main speaker for such an event, and approval comes from the deacons.

    Our music pastor would be the one who chooses the musical portion of the program, again with deacon board approval, and the deacons would decide how it is paid for, and it would not be spontaneous -- it would be a planned part of the yearly budget -- unless something untoward and eventful happens in the church or the community that the church body feels needs to be addressed.
     
  8. go2church

    go2church
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    4,304
    Likes Received:
    6
    I don't understand this whole "unilateral" thing? What pastor is just out there setting dates, inviting speakers, spending money without anyone in the church saying boo? I've never been a part of this kind of church, though I've heard stories, I just have no point of reference for such behavior. Even growing up in a IFB church.

    Now, as a pastor, in conjunction with the staff and community calendar, we plan what we are going to be doing, big stuff, about a year out. One thing we won't be planning however is planning a "revival" service. For the most part they are a waste of time for the people, a headache for the staff and an embarrassment to good preaching throughout the world.
     
  9. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    I take it that this is the way you do it at your church. If everybody is happy with that arrangement, then that's fine with me.
     
  10. AVL1984

    AVL1984
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=../ubb/avl1984.jpg>

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2002
    Messages:
    6,932
    Likes Received:
    3
    We have been in several different types of voting settings. One is where the deacons call for a vote of confidence in the pastor and either get it or not. If not, the pastor can either try to fight for his job, or can just move on.
    In others there have just been angry mobs of people chasing the pastor and his cronies out, and justly so, though probably not the most orderly fashioned way to go!
    We have seen where we have had co-pastors voted in by the congregation of the church with the approval of the deacons/elders. It was a very strenuous, tedious process, but gave us one of the best church groups we ever had as well as the best leadership we ever had.
    One of the pastor himself holding a majority of "leadership" power got to be too much at many of the churches, and ended up in splits, families splitting up with the church and with the whole testimony going down the tube. I'm glad those days were long ago for us for the most part.
     
  11. OnlyaSinner

    OnlyaSinner
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    293
    Likes Received:
    11
    Requests by missionaries (whether on deputation, or on-furlough ones we support) tend to come piecemeal throughout the year. Same for some evangelists. Therefore, our pastor (we have no assistant pastors and all other positions are volunteer) consults with the congregationally elected leadership concerning this scheduling; calling an extra 10+ congregational meetings would not be wise. Our schedule includes three - the annual meeting in January, at which the budget is presented for congregational consideration and (often with some changes during discussion) approval, election of elders/deacons, and any changes in missionary support, followed by meetings in May and September for updating/progress reporting. Usually we'll have 2-3 special meetings, if there are recommended budget changes (example - a van dies and replacement is proposed) or changes in missionaries - supporting an additional work, or occasionally a missionary coming off the field. Had more than the usual last year, as we prayerfully considered and then initiated an addition to the church building.
     
  12. AVL1984

    AVL1984
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=../ubb/avl1984.jpg>

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2002
    Messages:
    6,932
    Likes Received:
    3
    I believe the church we're in now has the deacons making those decisions for us. They do allow the responses from the members and the pastor, though. We don't live in a dictatorship, you know, and least not in our church. :)
     
  13. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Messages:
    8,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm so glad you approve. [/sarcasm]

    Tell me, is there a reason we shouldn't be?
     
  14. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,023
    Likes Received:
    47
    e co
    How does your church dismiss and choose pastors?[/QUOTE]

    the pastor9s) can freely elect to resign/step down, but if there is problems such as heresy/money issue/lax moral living, then the oversight group within the association steps in to oversee it!

    New pastors are elected by the members of Congregation...
     
  15. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    For context, check back with posts 7 and 9.

    The answer is, no reason you shouldn't. If the congregation wishes to delegate authority to the "board" of deacons, it certainly may do so.

    It may also delegate authority to the pastor, of course. Having the congregation vote on every issue or situation can get pretty bulky sometimes, so delegating is often a wise move.

    The deacons in the congregation I serve used to consider itself a "board," which sorta ran the church. But it has softened that view over the years. Now, it considers itself a "servant" body, which works together with the pastor. Both consider themselves servants of the church, not the bosses.

    Our pastor, you could say, is "chief among equals" in a way. His vision of where the church is, and where it should go, is given strong weight by deacons and congregation. He gets the benefit of the doubt, you could say, about the direction he wants to take.

    Some churches are quite comfortable with a strong "board" of deacons and/or strong pastors.

    Even so, wise pastors will consult with deacons and other church leaders. There's no point in a pastor trying to lead a congregation where it doesn't want to go.
     
  16. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Messages:
    8,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm curious as to how you would conclude from what I said that our deacons do anything differently than that. Our deacons actively seek input from those to whom they are responsible, the church body. We believe the will of God will be laid upon the membership, and that it is then expressed through the deacons. They are not a strong body that gets elected and the goes out of touch with their constituency, like politicians. :laugh:
     
  17. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    Most churches are made up of pew sitters who have never made disciples and they vote on a pastor? Why?
     
  18. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,303
    Likes Received:
    784
    Biblical deacons are not administrators nor decision makers.
     
  19. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,023
    Likes Received:
    47
    Correct, as those roles fall to Elders in the church!
     
  20. TCassidy

    TCassidy
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    12,165
    Likes Received:
    1,311
    Our pastor chooses who he wants on his pastoral staff and the congregation votes to either confirm or deny that choice.
     

Share This Page

Loading...