Should a church have public business meetings?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by BigErv, Mar 14, 2002.

  1. BigErv

    BigErv
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    Should a church have a business meeting with the congregation, not just the administrative staff of the church? Should there be a monthly or quarterly public reading of the account standings and current issues the church is facing?

    I can't find a direct scripture on this matter.

    [ March 14, 2002, 01:07 PM: Message edited by: BigErv ]
     
  2. Rev. Joshua

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    Erv,

    Baptist churches are owned, run, and administered by the whole congregation. The congregation may delegate some authority to staff members or certain committees; but ultimately the buck stops with the congregation.

    Joshua
     
  3. bb_baptist

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  4. rsr

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    What Joshua said.

    But ... a lot of church members really don't want to be bothered with "business," which is why they suddenly wake up to find out they're against everything the church is doing. ;)
     
  5. bgerald

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    Well look at Annias and Saphira in the book of acts. This one particular story has the tone that they gave publickly, was delt with and died publickly. I believe it is an important distinctive to hold these buisness meetings in publick. For one, if, when and since I give my money to my baptist church, I want to know where it is going. I don't want to support something that goes against scripture. But how do I know if we are doing something contrary to scripture if we don't hold a buisness meeting and discuss where my money is going?
     
  6. TomVols

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    Joshua is absolutely right. While the church is led by the pastor/elder(s), and served by its deacons, it is governed by itself. As to the frequency of meetings, I can't think of any good reason why a church couldn't handle all it's business by quarterly meetings. Churches could make available its financial statement monthly. But rare is the church that has enough business to warrant a monthly meeting. My church currently still meets monthly, and more often than not we sit looking at each other after the readings of the minutes and financial report. I hope to eventually go to a bi-monthly meeting, then eventually to a quarterly one.
     
  7. Don

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    Folks, I don't know for sure...but is it possible that Big Erv meant "public" in the manner of "in front of non-members"?....

    I agree with everyone so far: The congregation has a right and duty to know what the pastor and/or deacons are doing with the money.

    But are non-members allowed to sit in? (it necessarily should be a given that they're not allowed to vote)
     
  8. Circuitrider

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    I can't believe it, I agree with Joshua :D :D :D

    Another point in the initial question would relate to the matter of allowing non members to be involved in the business meeting.

    In our churches we have allowed anyone present to attend the meeting, as they often were held following a regular service. They could attend but were not free to speak or to vote. :cool: The single exception to that idea would be in the case where we were handling a matter of church discipline, in which case the meeting was restricted to adult voting members. ;)

    These matters are not directly addressed in the Scripture, but some are deductions from biblical principles, and others are simply traditions which Baptists have held for centuries. :eek:

    Paul summed up the Baptist polity issue in his first epistle to Timothy, "...that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house [household] of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and the ground of the truth."
     
  9. rsr

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    My experience is that churches usually have business meeting on Sunday night or Wednesday when there's little possibility of nonmembers being present.
     
  10. TomVols

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    Anytime we have a member's meeting where visitors may be present we simply allow all non-members to leave. If people want to stay, fine. If we can't conduct our business in a way that would not be detrimental to how we act towards unbelievers or 'outsiders' we probably shouldn't be doing it anyway. :cool:
     

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