Need advice on nominating committee - faithfulness, etc.

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by doodlebug, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. doodlebug

    doodlebug
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    I don't know if nominating committee is a SBC thing only, or if other Baptist use this, so I apologize if I don't make sense.
    I was selected to be on the nominating committee. Our committee is made up of 2 women and 3 men (one of which will be the Sunday School director). Our pastor serves on the committee, but only has a vote if the committee can't reach a decision. I don't wholeheartedly agree with this, but this is the way they have decided to do things. A little background on our church - church is SB, pastor is IB, only 2 deacons, and very old fashioned (to quote "this is the way we've always done it") and we do not have a constitution (though we have by-laws of which none apply to these questions).
    Our committee is very confused. The head of the committee asked us to define faithfulness, but the general concensus is that we don't count vacation against someone's faithfulness. It's considered the same as if someone is ill, someone who misses church because of their job, etc. Our head deacon is a Sunday School teacher and he misses an average of 12-15 Sundays a year because he goes camping.
    What about this -- a woman in our church has served as treasurer of our general fund for 15-20+ years. She is faithful, but her health is severly declining. She is starting to make little mistakes. She requires a lot of help to keep her job up. She is not able to give oral reports any longer to the church. Everyone is afraid to ask her to step out of the position -- they insist we have to ask her if she still wants to do the job. They are afraid if we take the job away from her, she will have no purpose for her life and just give up. To me, the right thing to do is honor her many years of service, but not give her the option to have the job again, and let her down gently.
    Just what is the purpose of the nominating committee? What criteria are we supposed to use in order to determine if someone should have a position? Aren't we supposed to look at the faithfulness to our church, their maturity in Christ, past performance, etc? Are there biblical standards that we should follow?
    My role in this committee at the moment -- I am a first timer to this committee, I am the youngest on the committee, I am the least knowledgable of the committee, I am most concerned about the welfare of our church (not whether someone is IB or SB, not whether my friend wants a job, etc).
    Any advice for me? Thanks.
     
  2. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    You are in a tough spot. I want to point out a couple of things you said.

    You said "Everyone" and "they" think the elderly treasurer should go. Did the whole church tell you this, or did a single person (or a few persons) decide to speak for the church and come to you (as the newest and least knowlegable) in order to sway your vote? Does the person who told you this have an interest in the position (or their wife? or mother?) Have you seen the "errors" or "mistakes" she has made? Walk carefully here. You might want to consider an "associate treasurer" position for a year or so that could assist this woman (if she needs it). There must be other ministries she can serve in once she moves on from this position. Make sure she knows she is valued, wanted, needed as she tranisitions to another role in the church.

    Another possibility is to put limits on the position. Change the by-laws to say no one person can serve as the treasurer for more than two consecutive years without taking at least one year off.

    You said you were the most concerned about the church. Please don't think you are the only who cares, or that you care the most. I suspect the pastor would disagree with you, as would anyone serving on a committee or as a Sunday School teacher.

    Clothe everything in prayer that God will guide you in your decisions.

    peace to you:praise:
     
  3. doodlebug

    doodlebug
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    Sorry, I guess I generalized too much -- I was referring to just those on the committee as far as saying "everyone" and "they". The committee will make the recommendation to the church, and ultimately, the church family will have the final say on whether someone will fill a position.
    As for the treasurer, my husband deals with her, and has indeed experienced delays, mistakes, forgetfulness, and has had to visit her home to pick up checks to pay church bills. Last fall, her forgetfulness almost caused us to lose our incorporation status. Our pastor has problems cashing his checks because her handwriting is so bad (she has a disease which causes nervous twitches -- needs help walking, has problems speaking clearly, etc.).
    I'm concerned mostly with the committee members motives. The other woman and one of the men have an issue with our pastor and anyone else in the church they consider IB. The man approached my husband about a position that we haven't discussed yet. He wants my husband to replace a man who is believed to have IB views. I really don't get the whole IB vs SB -- we're all in the same boat and we can agree to disagree on the really unimportant things, as long as we agree on the most important things! KWIM?
    The head of the committee has commented from the first meeting that he was "brow beat" by his wife to accept the position on the nominating committee, so he doesn't really care as long as his hands don't get dirty.
    We don't have the authority to change the church by-laws (which are not really enforced anyhow -- the head deacon said they haven't been as long as he's been a deacon for over 30 years). The church will not go for term limits, and besides there are just not enough people in our church to spread out over different jobs every couple of years. We have a small church, and not many who are willing to serve. My husband has 4-5 jobs already, as do many of the younger men.
    I know I'm not the only one who cares about the church if you consider our entire church. I know our pastor cares deeply about the welfare of our church. I just meant as far as the voting committee members, it appears to me that I am the only one who cares about what is best for our church. Hope that makes sense.
    I am bathing everything in prayer, and the burden for my church and for God's will to be done is so great that I am really struggling with what is the right thing to do. Thanks for listening to my ramblings.
     
  4. Milady

    Milady
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    What about asking the lady in question to "train" someone else to "fill in" for her. THen as she gets worse she can have the option of saying that she cannot do it any longer. It also helps that you get a replacement that asks her a lot of questions/advice to make her feel needed. Thus you don't have the problem of her wanting to just give up. It also preserves her dignity.
     
  5. doodlebug

    doodlebug
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    Thank you for your observations. As for our treasurer, I do want to preserve this woman's dignity, but I also want to do what is best for our church.

    Anyone have any comments on my other questions -- about faithfulness, requirements for leadership/teaching positions, etc.?
     

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