Pastor's Unrealistic Expectations of Board Members

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by drfuss, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. drfuss

    drfuss
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    There is a thread entitled Unrealistic expectations of pastors. I thought it maght be interesting to consider if Pastors have unrealistic expectations of Board Members (Deacons) and members. Let's limit this thread to churches with less the 350 in regular attendance. We should exclude larger churches because many times they are organized differently, have more staff, have more activities, etc. than the smaller churches.

    Do Pastors expect:

    1. Board members to be at every function that includes men unless they have given prior notice to the Pastor?

    2. Board members to actively support every church program even if they do not think it is a good program? Of course, board members should not actively detract from any ongoing program.

    3. Board members to actively support the music program even if the type of music has been changed to something that is irritating to them?

    Let's try these for starters.

    What do you think?
     
  2. glfredrick

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    Explain deacon board from a Scriptural perspective...
     
  3. drfuss

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    While I can see where your request is coming from, scriptural perspective of a deacon board is not really what the intention of this thread is about. In the same way scriptural perspective of a pastor is not discussed in the other thread about expectations of a pastor, let's not allow this thread to go in the scripture perspective of a church board.

    Many churches have church boards made up of laymen. The question is, given the existance of a church board, what do pastors expect?
     
  4. thegospelgeek

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    We do not have a board but do have deacons. I would be tickled pink if the deacons showed up at least half of the services and visited someone every so often.
     
  5. abcgrad94

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    Our church does not have a board, but we have one elderly deacon and two trustees. They are expected to attend church services as able, help serve communion, and oversee the church budget. Frankly, we're just happy if they come to church at all. It seems to be too much to even expect them to come half the time and come ON TIME when they do show up. It's very hard to find dedicated Christian men in our area.

    We once attended a church where the pastors were graduates of Bob Jones University and they were paid full-time. They expected ALL the board members to attend every service and most functions. They were also "required" to publicly agree with the pastor and if they dared disagree, they were only allowed to do it during board meetings where the church members didn't know what was being discussed. We felt the pastors at that church, while good men, were more of dictators instead of pastors.

    One thing I've noticed is that bi-vocational pastors, like my husband, seem to better understand that people have a home and job and life OUTSIDE the church, so they don't expect so much of laypeople.
     
  6. glfredrick

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    This is perhaps the crux of the situation. :thumbsup:

    There are two sort of deacons out there in the greater church world (at least in my observance after 25+ years of pastoral ministry) -- those who understand their task biblically, and who are men of good repute, servants, who do not miss meetings, service opportunities, etc., and the other type, who are wanna-be leaders of the church and who often do as little real ministry work as possible while at the same time exercising their authority over the pastor and flock, while allowing themselves another standard entirely.

    That's why I suggested a review of the scriptural basis for deacons above. Know the type of man a deacon should be and select that man. Virtually the end of your problems.
     
  7. thegospelgeek

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    But you see, there are other types that are outside of your definitions. We currently have the type who just kinda do nothing. The way I understand it, they have had a long period of spiritual decline, nit just the deacons but others in the church also. I am reminded that they didn't grow stagnant overnight and aren't going to all be revived overnight. They seam to be good christian people who have just drifted. As a new pastor I have prayed much over the Deacon issue. God has led me to be patient and prayerful that the Deacons grow spiritually. When I read the scriptures and see what God has done, I am sure that he can handle the situation. The Deacons will grow, resign, or be replaced in God's time and at his leading.
     
  8. glfredrick

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    In that case (and I've been there too...) I'd recommend that you sit down with the deacons and have a little Bible study. Start very lightweight and positive. Work into the more difficult stuff as you go, and as you find committment. Many will not respond. Some will ask for your resignation. Some will be thorns in the flesh. In those cases, some "blessed subtraction" may indeed help the church to grow.

    If you set the pace and lay out the vision, they will either rise to the occaision, toss you out, or leave themselves (and create as much uproar as they can while doing so).

    Here is some good reading on effective leadership:

    http://www.marshallcf.com/assets/book summaries/the 21 irrefutable laws of leadership-w.pdf
     
  9. Salty

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    Basically, I would say if they cant make it to at least half of the services (at least 10 out 13 Sundays / Qtr - they probably wouldn't be deacons much longer. And as well as other services of the church.

    Now I understand if there are reasons - work,ect

    Myself, I have to be up at 230 in the morning. Takes a good 20 minutes one way - so I usually do not attend Mid week service (no I am not the pastor) I think the good term to use is providentially hindered. Another words common sense
     
  10. drfuss

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    Years ago, we moved to another area of the country and to a different church. In our former church, the deacons were the church board and were expected to be at every service unless they had a good excuse. In the new church, the deacons attendance were hit and mess.

    In the church where attendance was required, the deacons occassionally would privately express disagreement with things they didn't like. However, they would faithfully attend and work in the church.

    In the other church where faithfullness was not considered important, the deacons hardly ever expressed any disagreement with the program. However, when we could perceive when they were not happy with things, they would not be there very often.

    There was much less bickering in the church where deacon attendance was not considered important.

    Pastors, which situation would you perfer?
     
  11. thegospelgeek

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    That's the plan! :godisgood:
     
  12. thegospelgeek

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    My flesh says move 'em out and put folks there that are already doing the work. God tells me to educate them, help them grow, and be patient.
     
  13. thegospelgeek

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    If it's a matter of preference I would prefer attendance and NO bickering ;-)
     
  14. HAMel

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    Two threads. 1, Pastor's Unrealistic Expectations of Board Members

    2nd, Unrealistic expectations of pastors

    Random comments,

    I would be tickled pink if the deacons showed up at least half of the services and visited someone every so often.

    Frankly, we're just happy if they come to church at all.

    I am reminded that they didn't grow stagnant overnight and aren't going to all be revived overnight. They seam to be good christian people who have just drifted.

    Basically, I would say if they cant make it to at least half of the services (at least 10 out 13 Sundays / Qtr - they probably wouldn't be deacons much longer. And as well as other services of the church.


    Perhaps the question should be, what happened to..., and where did the Power of the Holy Spirit go? It seems to me that way too many churches and their membership are just going through the motions. Having a form of Godliness all the while having stifled the real power thereof?

    ...but I am just a layman.

    I've been attending church since 1972. Someone take a guess as to how many times I've been preach to (told) that I needed to be saved and that I just wasn't doing enough for the Lord.

    You know, when someone becomes convicted and walks the isle for salvation the entire church ought to break out in such jubilant expression that the rafters shake. It don't happen, does it?
     
  15. drfuss

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    I think the options were random attendance and no bickering vs. required attendance with some bickering.

    I think the reasons for the two differences are:

    1. Required attendance with some bickering - The deacons have been made to feel they and the pastor are the management team that is responsible for the church. Since they are a part of the team, they feel the shared leadership responsibility and committment. However, due to thier effortrs and committment, they get upset when they believe things are not going the best way, i.e. the bickering.

    2. Random attendance and no bickering - The deacons do not feel as much responsibility and committment for the church. If things are not going well, they feel it is not really their responsibility, so they only come when they feel like it. They don't bicker, they just don't show up very often. They let the pastor run things by himself, the way he wants to.

    The above has been my impression from the types of arrangements in the two churches we attended. Does this make sense?
     
  16. drfuss

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    HAMel writes:
    "I've been attending church since 1972. Someone take a guess as to how many times I've been preach to (told) that I needed to be saved and that I just wasn't doing enough for the Lord."

    I have also seen this type of preaching in Baptist churches. Is it any wonder why some people think that works are necessary for salvation.
     
  17. Salty

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    My question is did they grow stagnant or have they always been that way. Another words why were they elected as a deacon - simply because there was a vacancy? Maybe the Pastor wanted that individual for whatever reason?....
     
  18. saturneptune

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    First of all, at our church, there is no such thing as a deacon board. We have eight deacons that meet regularly with the pastor to discuss church issues. The Pastor puts no requirements on us. If he asks us as a group or individually to do something, we gladly do it. There is a very strong bond between our pastor and deacons. Our deacons support and hold him up.

    The deacons act they are suppose to according to Scripture, as servants, not elders, and certainly not there to hinder or require approval for what the pastor does.

    Any local church that has a collection of deacons who think they run the church or the pastor, then the congregation needs to exercise their power and put a stop to it.
     
  19. abcgrad94

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    AAAAAAAMEN! You hit the nail on the head, there. I said amen in church kind of loud recently and a couple of our members almost had heart attacks that someone dared to praise God in church. Good thing I didn't wave my hand in the air. They might have fallen out of the pew!:laugh:
     
  20. David Lamb

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    What do you mean by "board members"? I haven't come across that term (in relation to a church) here in the UK. Is it just another way of saying "the office bearers" (elders, deacons, pastor)?
     

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