Pastors - What percentage of church vote would you accept

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by delly, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. delly

    delly
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    Pastors, if you were applying for another pastorate, what percentage of the vote would you accept as a call?

    The reason for the question is: We have had an interim pastor for about 6 months. He is retired from Union University and is in his early 70s. In the six months he has been with us, he had basically turned our church around. We are growing and have accomplished so much with his leadership. This past Sunday we voted for him to be our full time pastor. He visisted another church while we were voting. He got a vote of 91% and we were thrilled thinking he would be our new pastor. We love him and he loves us. Sunday night when he came back he said he and his wife had decided that they needed 95% in order to take the position. We are all dumbfounded as we thought 91% was really good. He also stated that he would be leaving at the end of March so we could get on with the business of looking for a full time pastor unhindered by our desire for him to be full time pastor.

    We realize that a few wanted a younger man but he really is into promoting our young people. He found us a new youth minister about a month ago. We have been looking for a youth minister almost as long as we have a pastor.

    Some of our older members stated that our last pastor didn't get anywhere near 91% when he was called and he stayed there for 29 years.

    Can you give me any words of wisdom that I might repeat to him that could change his mind. Some of our older men were taking him to lunch today to try to get him to change his mind. He did say Sunday night that he didn't know if he was making the right decision.

    Help please.
     
  2. TaterTot

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    For us, it would depend on the situation, but our general rule of thumb is 95%. Most of our friends say the same thing. No one wants to go into a situation where the guillotine is already waiting. [​IMG] Not saying that 91% means that, but depending on the dynamics of your church, it could mean he'd be doomed before he started. Do you know who voted no? And are you sure the only reason was his age? Maybe you could talk to those folks.
    We have had no votes because of age, too, but for being too young (30's). I hope it all works out.
     
  3. PastorSBC1303

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    At my last 2 churches I have recieved 100% of the votes....I think 95% is a good rule of thumb. But I would let each situation stand on its own, and deal with each one as it comes. 91% might be enough for me in certain situations to go, but it would just depend.
     
  4. blackbird

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    I got to reasoning about this % thing!!

    Lets just take a congregation of 200(to make the math a little easier for Blackbird)

    First of all, I'm not looking for %---I'm looking for the will of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    But lets just take those 200 folks who show up to vote. Now, stay with me on this one!!

    Out of those 200---how many voted---who haven't darkened the door of the church in 10 years---but yet showed up "for the vote?"---suddenly, the folks who have been forsaking the assembling of themselves---suddenly they are so spiritual---rivaling Billy Graham and The Pope---but how many of the 200 are like that?? A certain % no doubt!! Voting outside of the will of the Lord Jesus because they have been disobedient in forsaking the assembly! They came to vote---an intentional "Yes or No" based on the reality of whos side they're on in the voting---if they're holding a grudge against someone who likes the prospective pastor---they vote "NO!"---and visa versa!!

    Lets just say---there are 10 people out of the 200 who find themselves in that catagory--though they would deny any sort of rebellion against the printed will of God.----There are 190 people left!

    Now, out of the 190 left---how many of these do you suppose who are voting---who are out and out lost church members---they are members of the church---but yet they are not saved??? Lets just say---out of those 190 left--that 10 are actually lost church members(figures here are on the conservative side---there's probably way more than that!!)

    That leaves 180 members out of the 200!

    Now, how many of the 180 members remaining do you suppose are living "carnal" lives of the flesh---who spiritually they wouldn't know their head from the hole in the ground?? Lets just take a very, very conservative figure here---lets just say there are only 5 who find themselves in this predicament!! Five vote who haven't prayed the first prayer of direction or guidance toward which way they need to go!! But yet---the prospective pastor is "kinda cute and funny" or he mentioned their favorite football team or he confessed he's really into Deer hunting----so that is the measuring stick they use to cast the vote!!

    So---lets stop right here with these three catagories----and lets do our math!

    200 present

    --10 vote "no" because they hold a grudge against those who voted "yes"
    --10 vote "no" because they are still in spiritual darkness as lost and need to be saved
    --5 vote "no" because they're just as carnal living in the flesh as their neighbor who stays at home on Sundays

    200 votes cast

    175 "Yes"
    25 "No"

    An 85% "Yes" vote---doesn't look toooooo bad---doesn't looooook tooooooo good

    Would I accept??

    Yes------or no-----depends on how the Lord Jesus is directing me!!
     
  5. El_Guero

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    Delly,

    It is common for Interims (in this area) to not accept a call from a church they Interim for.

    So, my first question would be ... "Why did the church extend a vote on a call?"

    Second, why is there a need to have us help you change his mind?

     
  6. delly

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    El_Guero, I can't see any reason why an Interim should not be called to be Pastor if he is qualified and is doing so much good for the church. Our Pastor (and I can now say "our Pastor" as I was informed this morning that he had changed his mind after a meeting with the search committee last night) is extremely qualified (maybe over qualified for our church) to lead any church any where. He has been second under Dr. David Dockery at Union University for many many years. He is on an advisory board with the Southern Baptist Convention for the past eight years and has been pastor of larger churches than ours. He is a very kind, loving man whom most of us have fallen in love with in the short time he has been here. We could not have hoped for a better man to lead us. Our last interim was also an older man who was a great preacher. We love him also. He became very ill and had to give us up, but he was very sorry to do so. One of the preachers who came as a visitor was in between churches (leaving one and taking another). He said he wished he had known we were looking because he would have loved to be our Pastor, but he was already committed to another church in town.

    You asked why we needed to have him change his mind. It was simply because we all feel like he is the man God has called to lead us. He had some doubts about it and whether he was making the right decision when he first turned us down. I think he really hadn't thought about being a full time pastor until our search committee asked him to think about it. We have all known before the first of this year that we wanted him to be with us. He is a wonderful man who is very humble. He challenges us to be all that God would have us be. He makes us want to work harder at getting the Good News out to the world.
    Maybe he thought he was too old to be a full time pastor again, but we don't think that. I'm overjoyed that he has changed his mind.
    Praise God.
     
  7. ScottEmerson

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    I began in my church as the director of middle school ministries (doing most everything that ministers do, but part-time and non-ordained.) Our youth minister then decided to leave, and they moved me to the interim minister of youth position. It was to be a "trial" period of three months after which they would vote on me to be the full-time.

    Well, the vote was about eight hundred something to eleven. Those eleven hurt (although I still accepted the job.) Over the next few months, I began deducing (and others just plain told me) who voted no, and it was similar to what Blackbird said. It seemed that the majority were upset about the old youth minister leaving, and thought that he had been forced to leave because of not doing a good job. The other few thought I was too young and that our church was too big to have an "entry-level" student minister (I was 25 in a church with a membership of over 3000). It wasn't that they didn't think I would do a good job, per se, but that I needed more experience before tackling a job of this magnitude.

    Anyway, it's been over a year-and-a-half, and I love my job. Some of those who voted no because of my age are my best youth workers, and others who voted no are going to a different church. It all worked itself out, and I love the work.

    But I tell you, those "no" votes really hurt at first. Good think it was all in God's hands!
     
  8. go2church

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    I have never gone to a church without a 100% call. Even had a church that I didn't go to that gave me a 100% call.
     
  9. WallyGator

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    I know quite a few churches have a % in their by-laws. Somehow, 85% call, got hung up in my mind, as usual. I have pastored churches ranging from 40 to 1100 members. It has been my experience, both personal and friends' experiences, that the larger the church, the harder it will be to get 100% or even 95%. I have accepted a church with a 91% vote.
    Delly, I've finished the first two parts of intentional interim training by Congregational Health. They stress that when a pastor accepts an interim, he should not be considered a candidate for permanent pastor. In fact, they suggest that in the written agreement, such be stated. If the church becomes interested in the interim as a pastor candidate or vice versa, the interin should resign, and after a period of time, enter the search process, like any other candidate.
     
  10. qwerty

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    You might want to consider when the vote is taken.

    The previous pastor was not getting his way in the business meetings, so he took to taking votes on Sunday mornings. That way he was assured of getting his 80% approval.

    Unfortunately, the church has stayed with this mindset.

    The attendance in the business meetings has fallen so low that it is difficult to get a quorum, so they think they have no choice but to vote on Sunday mornings.

    We just voted to being in a new senior pastor. He is 30 years old. The vote was about 82%.
     
  11. delly

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    Wally, that may be what is suggested, but we have been without a pastor for 14 months. We felt we could not go any longer without one and felt like we needed to keep the interim who has meant the most to our church if he would accept it. He said tonight that, after he met with the search committee on Monday night and made his decision to accept us, he felt a peace come over him and he knew he had made the decision God wanted him to make. He apologized for causing us so much pain by turning us down on Sunday night. He had went home with a heavy heart and an uneasy feeling that perhaps he had not been right to turn us down. He was overwhelmed by the calls and cards people have sent in the last three days.
    I think those people who found out on Monday night called everyone they could think of at a very late hour just to let everyone know the good news. Sunday will be a great day.
     
  12. PastorSBC1303

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    Delly, glad it worked out
     
  13. Salty

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    At Zweibruecken Baptist Church (in Germany) we had an interesting procedure in our constitution. The pulpit committee was required to give a 100% vote to present a candidate to the church. At a special called business meeting, a postive vote of 75%. In the (probable) event a 100% was not received, a second ballot would be taken. Since a call would be extended to the candidate anyways, the dissenting members would be encouraged, though not required to, to vote in the affirmative. In essence, these members would be saying they would fully support the new pastor.
    Then we could honestly say the new pastor recieved 100% of the vote.

    Comments?
     
  14. gb93433

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    I know a pastor that recently retired after almost 30 years at the same church. If I told you the name of the pastor many would know him. He only had about 2/3 positive vote when he came. The church was 1/2 liberal and 1/2 conservative. He turned it around to be a conservative very well balanced church.

    It not what we always want but what God wants.
     
  15. PastorSBC1303

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    gb that is very true, and we need to keep that in mind instead of just a %
     
  16. Circuitrider

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    delly,

    Every man has to decide what God's will is with respect to a vote percentage. However, your comment at the end was essentially, what would it take to get him to change his mind.

    Can I give a piece of advice? I would never try to talk someone out of a decision they had made with an honest heart in the will of God. In the few times I have done this, I have always lived to regret it. Take the man's decision and start looking for God's man for your church.
     
  17. j_barner2000

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    The membership was 100% for me. If it had been anything different, I would have asked for a few weeks to pray and serve there and then visit the decision again.
     
  18. Dr. Bob

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    I have been in the interim position and had, after 12+ months, the elders ask if I would consider full time. I agreed when I came that I would help them as interim as long as they needed. I would not be a candidate.

    And it hurt, but I turned them down and they eventually found a far-better man than I. God has a way of doing that.

    BTW, I would assume 85-90% to be great. You always have some who have the spiritual gift of "contrariness" who would vote against Paul if he candidated.
     
  19. delly

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    I thank all of you for your comments. They helped me understand things from a minister's view point.
    I am glad to say that we are all very happy now and our new Pastor has his first pastorate after 22 years as interim of 25 other churches. He stated that he and his wife would have been very unhappy to leave us as they had come to love us as much as we love them. We all feel for sure that God's will has been done. He and his wife along with our new Youth Minister joined our church yesterday morning. Now, praise God, we can get on with the Lord's business of reaching the lost secure that we have the best person to lead us. Exciting things are happening at East Union Baptist Church and I am thrilled to be a part of it.
     
  20. Hardsheller

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    If God was calling me I would go with whatever the vote was as long as it was in accord with the Church's guidelines.

    I have never had a unanimous call in any of the five congregations I have served during the last 25 years. I've never been asked to leave a church either.

    The lowest vote I ever got to a church I was glad didn't call me was under 65%. That was a blessing in disguise.
     

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