I can't stand Church Annual Meetings/Church Politics

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Friend of God, May 8, 2006.

  1. Friend of God

    Friend of God
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    Our Church Annual Meeting is coming up, and again I will spend the day at home.

    I just cannot stand Church Politics, and it doesn't matter what Church it is either. It isn't important to me who is elected, or even if they need to be elected.

    All too often it is nothing but a popularity contest gone extreme.

    Just my opinion.
     
  2. bapmom

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    It's not important to you who your church is electing!?! My friend, if this is true, than you are only part of the problem! It is people with this attitude that are allowing our churches to fall into the hands of irresponsible, ungodly hirelings instead of keeping it in the hands of those who consider themselves undershepherds under the authority of Jesus Christ Himself.

    I encourage you to change, and begin to care. It is important that you actually contribute at your church. Is it YOUR church? Or is it just a place you go to in order to put in your time so that you can tell God you did indeed go to church that week?

    BTW, if its basically just a popularity contest where you are than that is because people who would really vote on the basis of who is actually worthy of the position are just sitting back like you are and giving up.

    Again, if you truly don't care who is elected, than you don't care about your church.

    ps. and please, don't tell me its not your church because it's Jesus' church....... :rolleyes:

    I realize we belong to Jesus, but we still can call it our church without minimizing the fact that we all belong to Christ. Just like we call a family OUR family.......
     
  3. piaairline

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    I am tired too of church politics. On one hand we have a group who wants to get rid of the new (>1 yr)pastor, and on the other hand the pastor wants the committe to follow his guidance and decision, rather than challenging him.

    I don't know who is right - pastor is too autocratic or the committee is too negative to changes.
     
  4. Joseph M. Smith

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    Let me put in a good word for the annual meeting and its possibilities. When I began the pastorate from which I recently retired, the annual meeting was just a pro forma gathering to approve the work of the Nominating Committee and to manage whatever financial surplus or shortfall existed at the end of the budget year. I saw the annual meeting as a wonderful opportunity to lay out and update the vision for the future of the church, and placed it within a framework of several Sundays "build-up" on the focus for the forthcoming year. Then on Annual Meeting Sunday I would preach about the vision I believed I had seen for where we were in our life together, and would dismiss the congregation to a dinner fellowship, after which we still did the business we had to do, but I would lay out in more detail what I envisioned for us. Questions and answers followed. It was neither a dictation nor a "hat-in-hand" time; I asked for no vote on the vision. It was serving notice that these were the directions I intended to follow in the coming year .. obviously it would be up to the committees and the congregation to work with me on implementing.

    One of the reasons I did not want a vote on the vision is that congregations tend to micro-manage. We would have been there all afternoon discussing some minor detail. And, further, visions get fleshed out and altered as time goes on, and I did not want to be bound by some legislation.

    Part of what I am saying is that injurious politics are overcome, in my experience, by a clear and winsome statement of a vision for ministry, presented neither as a demand nor as a wimpish desire, but as an optimistic opportunity.
     
  5. Brother Bob

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    Well, we work a little different than that. We have 27 churches and all have a right to send 3 delegates and any request that they may have. We have a 3 day meeting of which we vote in the officers for the coming year on friday, call roll, invite our visiting associations and give them a right to speak in our meeting of which there are 7 different associations we correspond with. We also vote on who will preach the next introductory sermon at out next association, write a circular letter to be approved and printed in our annually minutes. Friday evening we have a committe on arrangements of which 1 delegate from each church can vote and we read all requests from the churches and if they are in legal form and a valid request we place them on the arrangements for our Saturday meeting where on Saturday we meet at 9:00 am for the meeting. We have roll call, articles of Faith, Rules of Decorum and Constitution are read, then circular letter of previous year is read and approved or disapproved if doctrine is not acceptable. All request are brought to the floor for discussion and then a move is made to either accept or reject the request with a second of move. Then ask is there any objections and if there is a legal objection it is put before the entire group of delegates from each church and the majority decides. We close out with prayer. All the time this is going on we have a large room for preaching on opposite end of building where we send visiting preacher to preach to the congregation. After all is done we have a dinner for all in a large dining room. On Sunday it is just to have a meeting of preaching and afterwards dinner.
    I have to admit there have been times I felt like the orginal OP on this thread but all in all it has served to work out our problems and keep all these churches together from year to year. Our first association meeting was in 1883 and I wasn't able to attend. [​IMG]
     
  6. Rex77

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    I don't know about your churches but at a church I used to attend we would have 10 at a wednesday night prayer meeting week in week out, then when we held a business meeting on a wednesday night
    we would get 100.
    Suppose we should have a business meeting every wednesday night.
     
  7. Brother Bob

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    Might work Rex77. [​IMG]
     
  8. webdog

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    FOG, The reason you can't stand annual meetings is because they are not biblical. The Bible is clear that congregations are not to run the church, but elders are.

    As far as "electing" people for ministries, this alone is wrong. People should serve how the Lord has gifted them, not based on who other "think" would do a good job. This is the single biggest problem I have with baptists, and I am one. The baptist church model is a jumble. You can have somone who is not right with the Lord voting on who should teach your child. You have division in voting on trivial issues like buying a new copying machine, color of the new carpeting, etc. You have baptists who have never even heard the phrase elders, or thought that these were positions held only in non biblical denominations. You have baptists who think deacons are supposed to run the church, and the pastor is held accountable to the congregation. You have baptists who think they should have a say in how the money they give back to God is used. For supposedly being purely sola scriptura, us baptists really need to adjust the church model accordingly.
     
  9. bapmom

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    the only positions we "elect" in our church is deacon, financial secretary, and assistant, and the church clerk.

    Ive never even heard of voting on Sunday School teachers. Also, sometimes others can tell what you are gifted for better than you can tell. Though I wouldn't put that up for a vote, that would be up to the pastor to decide who is going to have teaching positions.

    My problem is with the attitude that church business doesn't matter. Everyone in the local church is a part of the body, and just like a family everyone has their part. To just not care is not a responsible attitude.
     
  10. John Ellwood Taylor

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    There are many Baptists who are regainig their biblical ecclesiology: See John Piper, Mark Devers, founders.org, etc. There's even one SBC church in Pittsburgh that has elders and a biblical model:
    http://www.3riversgracechurch.org/

    It's good to see many going back to the Bible and kicking Tevye and his 'tradition' out of the congregation [​IMG]
     
  11. Brother Bob

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    Webdog;
    Sounds like you believe in a dictatorship?
    Of course the Pastor with the Deacons take care of the church and make all appointments which he is given that power by the congregation who chose him in the first place. A pastor don't just appear out of the blue sky. I say if anyone get to the point that he don't have to care what the congregation thinks he better have another church in mind he wants to go to. That is called reality. Our preachers are called Elders. I have the position of Moderator which is Pastor everywhere else but we call them Moderators.
     
  12. webdog

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    A plurality of elders would hardly be considered a dictatorship. BTW, it matters not what I believe, but what Scripture says.
    What is your biblical grounds for this? It makes no difference what the congregation thinks, but what the Bible says.
     
  13. webdog

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    There are many Baptists who are regainig their biblical ecclesiology: See John Piper, Mark Devers, founders.org, etc. There's even one SBC church in Pittsburgh that has elders and a biblical model:
    http://www.3riversgracechurch.org/

    It's good to see many going back to the Bible and kicking Tevye and his 'tradition' out of the congregation [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]I'm a member of a church set up in what I believe to be the biblical model, and we are SBC. It was a huge adjustment for me at first, coming from a congregationally ran church with deacons serving as elders (my father is a deacon). The first thing my father asked when I told him the church I joined was elder led was "did you join a lutheran or presbyterian church"?
     
  14. webdog

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    You are correct. Leaders lead, those under their authority are to submit to leadership. Elder's are referred to as overseers / shepherds. I dont' know many shepherds that answer to the sheep, vote on how they are to be governed by the sheep, nor who are selected and voted in from amongst the sheep.
     
  15. Brother Bob

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    webdog;
    I don't know any church like that do you, that the congregation don't matter. Every church I know of all denomations, unless it a little church that John Doe started in his back yard, is subject to the congregation.

    Have you ever been preaching and see the congregation turn silent and cold. I have at other preachers and sometimes I don't go over too well too but if I do it long enough or anyone else and the congregation is not getting anything out of church watch the numbers get smaller and smaller and soon no one to preach to. Then who are you going to tell what to do or assign to a job. Also, if you receive tithes then Pastors certainly listen to the membership for that is what keeps him going. You look at the Church as in the days of Apostle Paul when He was the one setting up the churches throughout Asia but in this day and time everyone is going after the numbers. Even in the Baptist there is a movement to get rid of the Baptist name so as to get larger congregations and you say they don't have the influence. It time for a reality check.

    Question: Who chooses your Pastor?
     
  16. webdog

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    The remaining elders.
    Yes I have, in my last church that was congregationally ran. The "old timers" who were in the church did not like the pastor THEY VOTED IN after a few months, and then decided they didn't want him anymore. They removed him, not biblically, but unbiblically...because they thought they "had a right" being there so long. This is the main problem with CR churches.
    If the numbers drop and people leave, so what? When is doing something biblical dependant on the "masses"? Let God be sovereign. Maybe he is sifting out those He wants to.
    This phrase is the single biggest reason I left my last church. The congregation has NO SAY in how God uses His money, nor are they entitled to. They are giving a portion back to God...that is already His, and they then have a right to say how it's spent? Hardly. God has put elders (overseer) into a position of authority in the church, and has given them the responsibility in governing the church, finances and all.
    Do "numbers" dictate, or the Bible? Of course I am looking at the church model from the days of Apostle Paul!
    This makes it right? We are to succumb to the Baptist name and the pursuit of larger congregations? This is why I said earlier that the Baptist church model is whack.
     
  17. Brother Bob

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    webdog;
    How many leaders have you seen go bad over the years. How many corrupt through adultery, money, lavish living to the point it make me sick, there has to be a check on these guys, myself included. You know what I am saying is the truth and if you haven't run into it you will if time lasts long enough.

    You look for the church to have leaders who are really living up to their calling but over these 33 years of being an ordained minsiter and 25 years of serving as Moderator/Pastor I have seen almost everything. I mean preacher you listen to and say "man what a preacher" and then he runs off with a 18 year old, not just once but several time. Same is true with deacons and all people in church so I for one feel safer when it is not just in the hands of a few but we all are equal, including the Pastor. God hath no respect of persons why should we?
    Sounds like you had a bad experience and I sympathize with you for church trouble you take home with you to work and everywhere. You just can't get it out of your mind. Sometimes it gets so bad that everyone splits and I been there too and just maybe have to face it again over some issues. I am praying we don't but will have to do what God leads us to do. Glad you are at a church now where you are at peace for that means a lot in a persons life here on earth. You would think when you become a Christian your trouble would be in the past but they really just began for the devil had you before you were a Christian so he didn't bother too much but now that you are a Christian he is a thorn in your side all the time, God's blessings

    BBob
     
  18. Grub

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    My church, now my former church has lost three Pastors in the last six years. Two of them I called not only excellent Pastor's but also friends. I did not know the other Pastor. Last week our Pastor left because he felt he had no control of the church what so ever. I don't blame him for doing this and it was the very same reason the former two Pastors left. Last week when he resigned, two of the Deacons also resigned. Unfortunately two large families run the church and decide church politics. Sunday one of the members got up and asked to speak to the congregation and he made some statements neither the head Deacon nor his family wanted to hear. He was asked to leave the building permanently. Myself and my family, and I am now told most of the congregation got up and left the church at that point. Our membership was around 125. We are now looking for another place of worship in our area and we do have a choice of two other Baptist churches close by. I can certainly understand why some do not care for church politics. I have prayed for the church and so has many others in the past, yet the church has some very serious problems that will not seem to go away.
     
  19. Brother Bob

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    Grub;
    I pray for you and know how you feel. We all that have been around a while have suffered similar things. Time has a way of healing, so keep struggling along and God will make a way for you. God Bless,
    BBob
     
  20. webdog

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    Thank you for your story, as it proves down to the "t" why a congregationally ran church is not biblical. Your story is not unique with CR churches. How different do you think your church would have been if the members let the leaders did their jobs, and were submissive to the decisions of the church leadership, and the leadership prayed and was accountable to God, the "true Head" of the church?
     

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