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Featured What percentage would you accept to be called to a church?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by JJ2019, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. JJ2019

    JJ2019 New Member

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    This question was asked several years ago and I have read that discussion, but I thought it might be helpful to get fresh perspectives.

    A pastor search committee has asked me to come preach in view of a call. I plan to tell them yes, but I also plan to tell them that I must get at least a 95% vote from the congregation. This is slightly more than the church's bylaws, which require 90%.

    Do you think it is reasonable to set your own percentage in advance, and do you think 95% is reasonable? I expect that there will be up to 300 members present and voting, so under my scenario no more than 15 people could vote no.

    A little context: The previous pastor was there over a decade. The deacon board was prepared to recommend to the church that he be removed over job performance issues. Rather than put the matter to a vote and risk a church split, he resigned. Of course, some members were upset when they found out what had happened. That was less than a year ago. I want to know that the congregation is united in their willingness to follow the leadership of a new pastor.
     
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  2. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Below is MY OPINION, and must be taken as such.


    Frankly, the percentage doesn't translate every really into support, nor should it impact your decision to accept.

    Should you accept, the "job performance issues" should be reviewed and hashed out in the first deacon meetings which be as necessary for consecutive weeks.

    Be certain you drill down on your purpose as laid out in Scriptures is to pray, preach, and be responsive to those sick who call you for anointing oil and prayer. That you will do visitation and attend to other duties as you are given the wisdom of God to perform. But what is first is that which Scriptures present, you are not there to be a puppet on a string. Write out the Scriptures concerning the method of dealing with a pastor/leader who errs in doctrine or in living. Have each verse written out. Initial each verse (as one might do a contract) and have each deacon sign the paper. Photo copy it and make certain it is given to each deacon.

    At these meetings cut off ANY griping and complaining as ungodly. Remind them that God is not the least bit impressed with what man thinks is right, and did not tolerate griping and complaining in the wilderness. Those often reproved and hardened necked will need removed as fostering devision and disturbing the unity of the faith.

    Be also certain, in the same manner, that every deacon signs a paper that lists exactly what the Scriptures state they are responsible to attend. The physical aspects of safety, security, physical needs of the assembly, and sharing the gospel.

    If a deacon is not willing to abide by the Biblical standards ask for that person's immediate resignation.

    You nor deacons "rule" the church. You (and the staff, SS teachers) "lead" the church, the deacons "feed" the assembly. The assembly has the final authority as a body submissive to the Savior over all matters.

    I wouldn't wait for the problems to come, they are already upon the church.

    Also, the "job description" that fails to follow the Scriptures should not be accepted by you.

    Prior to you signing off, you need to have in hand exactly what you find in Scriptures as what your job description should be. Give it to those who are going to hold you responsible. Go over it with them. Let them know that it is Scripture and non-negotiable.

    There is a window of opportunity when a pastor first arrives that lasts but a very short time in which folks are trying to find their footing with the new pastor. Use it to establish certain boundaries and expectations.

    But do all with the backing of Scriptures.

    Traditions and policies of the past may not fit the Scriptures. These need to be brought to the attention of the deacons. They may not need immediate change, but the deacons will need to know that your focus is the Scriptures, and that the faith and practice of the local assembly is to be rooted solidly in the Scriptures.

    If they have a question about the direction of your leading, they must first bring Scriptures.

    Most often use the words, "the Bible says...". It is worth remarking that often Billy Graham (who I didn't particularly esteem) constantly used that phrase. It makes people move from what you are presenting from being personal, to confronting what the Scriptures state.

    The more you use the words "the Bible says ..." the more the people will know you are holding to that as a standard and not some policies of the traditions.
     
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  3. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    What is the average weekly attendence?
    If its only 200, I see a problem right away....
     
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  4. JJ2019

    JJ2019 New Member

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    The average weekly attendance is around 300. What problem do you see? Thanks.
     
  5. Shoostie

    Shoostie Active Member

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    As a leader, or as a human being, you have to be vary careful about any advice you're given. for example, this, "Be also certain, in the same manner, that every deacon signs a paper that lists exactly what the Scriptures state they are responsible to attend. The physical aspects of safety, security, physical needs of the assembly, and sharing the gospel. If a deacon is not willing to abide by the Biblical standards ask for that person's immediate resignation." If you do that, you'll likely be disliked, as a total jerk, by the church's deacons for a very long time.
     
  6. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Not true, shoostie.

    It brings unity and submission to Scripture.

    I would rather have the men know up front that, just as they would assume they could inappropriately rule and find Scriptures don’t approve, neither do they have authority over me as a pastor.

    No one suggested that it has to be done in an adversarial manner, but the deacons who ran off the last pastor should know up front exactly what the Scriptures expect.

    Too many Baptist churches have unqualified deacons who have a “good old boy” way of puffing up their importance.
     
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  7. Shoostie

    Shoostie Active Member

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    Boy, I think you need to check yourself.
     
  8. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Did you read the first sentence of my post?

    Your response was a warning to the writer of the OP which questioned the veracity of that which I posted.

    So, I brought clarification as to need and manner concerning the deacons.

    You turn my response into something more personal.

    Why? I don’t know.

    But, I do know the attitudes of the typical Baptist “board of deacons” in BOTH SBC and IFB churches and I present from experience.

    From what you present from, I do not know.

    Perhaps your utopian church would be different. If so, they would have no disagreement, no disgruntlement, and actually would welcome what I posted.

    Why not give (as I stated from the first line) your own opinion concerning the request from the OP, rather than merely attempting to discredit someone else who gave their opinion.

    Why bother with my opinion when you have opportunity to present your own?

    That is what the OP requested.
     
  9. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    How sad, that your experience in so many churches has been all these disagreements. You'd think one would wonder, after a while...

    What the OP requested wasn't venting about disgruntled deacons, but what percentage of congregational vote to seek — perhap's you're projecting?
     
    #9 Jerome, Dec 7, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
  10. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    Sorry if it is not my place to speak on this issue, since I am not ordained and have never been a Pastor. However, I have been a member of a variety of churches over the past decades and survived too many pastoral changes for reasons both good and bad. So I offer my 2 cents from the other side of the aisle, as a former Deacon and a christian that has been in those particular trenches.

    The difference between 15 and 30 disapprovals out of 300 voting members seems irrelevant. The reality of every congregation that I have had the pleasure to be a part of is that only 20% (60 of those 300 people) are actually doing most of the work in the body and giving most of the money that keeps the lights on. That leaves 240 people that will stay or go based on factors that have little to do with the vote or the church and have little invested in that particular congregation.

    As someone that has had both success and failure, I believe that the question is “what does God have to say to you?” Experience has shown that God blesses HIS plans, so running to the front of God’s Parade (whatever God gives you peace and excitement about) is the best way to choose a path. It has also been my personal experience that if you genuinely ask God to guide you in the right decision, then He is quite capable of doing radical things to derail the wrong decision that seems right from our limited perspective.

    I acknowledge that for me “talk is cheap” since this is how you support your family. So let me offer a story about a decision to change jobs from my past as an example. In 2007 I planned on moving from Florida to Tennessee so my wife could be closer to her family. I had a new job all lined up and and several leads on areas to buy a new home. The only thing that remained was to sell my old home. Throughout the process I had prayed for God to guide all of my decisions and that His will came first. As we listed the house, the economic crash of 2008 struck and values plummeted. Had my house sold, I would have purchased a new home at the peak of the bubble and suddenly been over $100,000 upside down on my new home. At the same time, as the newest hired, I would likely have been the first laid off. Instead, I remained at my job of 15 years and paid off the mortgage on my exiting home and weathered the “Great Recession” with no hardship. God closing the door and dashing my wrong plans to pieces is one of the greatest blessings and triumphs that I have to share.

    If God was able and willing to protect me from making the wrong decision, then he should certainly be able and willing to guide you in your decision.
     
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  11. Shoostie

    Shoostie Active Member

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    You're advising someone to be a jerk, to humiliate others, just in case the others are uppity. I haven't seen advice that poor since someone recommended letting a man dress as a woman in church.

    If you came into my church with your jerk routine, you'd have experience with that "boys club." And, then you could delude yourself that the problem isn't you.
     
  12. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Never even implied such an attitude as you desire to assign to my post.

    You are projecting, Shoostie, not me.

    Are you the one of those who would exuberantly point out evil intent when there is no evidence but to the contrary?

    Is this to be seen as a pattern of your character?

    Do you not know that Godly deacons will readily agree with the presentation, and those who are not will be disclosed as frauds. Better to ferret out the worms from the start, then to let the compost they generate fester that caused the last pastor to leave.

    Being dismissed because of moral or doctrinal failure is Scriptural.

    Being dismissed because one is just not pleasing the people and some "job description" is NOT Scriptural.

    Is it possible that you are not mature enough in the Spirit to comprehend this?

    At my age, you don't have to concern yourself about me coming to your church and exposing ungodliness for what it is.

    Is that the real agenda that you fear?

    Why would you be "offended" by a new pastor, in the private meeting with the deacons, laying out the SCRIPTURE principles of which the basic conduct of deacons and pastor are laid out, discussed, and agreed?

    That doesn't make sense.

    Is there some hidden power play that you fear someone might loose?

    Are you one of those puffed up, self important, "rulers" in the assembly?

    Generally, folks who would and more often do object do not want the limits to their own power and held accountable to the presentation of Scriptures, but would rather that the "good old boys" have the authority to "run the show" rather than the Scriptures. They can boast of many things, can they not?

    Aren't you one for holding that the law of the Scriptures should be making all accountable?

    Perhaps you are the one being tolerant of sinfulness, not wanting to hold folks to the Scripture Law?

    Your post sure is a puzzled presentation.
     
  13. Marooncat79

    Marooncat79 Well-Known Member
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    I would say 75-80% sounds about right. Anything more would be gravy
     
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  14. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    What I am doing is looking at the history the OP presented.

    Obviously, deacons rose up against the former pastor, had they not, the congregation would not have followed.

    By having done, they clearly violated Scriptures. Not finding fault in doctrine or in morals, the man was ask to leave because some human job description was not met.

    Therefore, if the next pastor is to be that strong leader the Scriptures demand, then the precedent needs to be established as far as what the Scriptures have laid out.

    The BEST time to do that is the very first extended meeting of pastor and deacon. He can very tenderly, yet firmly establish the Scriptures as the final authority, and in doing so, prevent those who have usurped authority unto themselves from continued disgruntlement and folks running to them in division.

    This is why I stated that percentage doesn't mean a lot, but that the Lord's leading was paramount.

    The single unity of the assembly is based upon the Scriptures. People come and go, but the Scriptures must remain the focus, not what is human agenda and human pleasing.

    As I pointed out in the post, it must often be stated by the new pastor, "the Bible says....", until the folks understand that the leadership is not a ruler, not a dictator, but holds to the same values that all should hold, the Scriptures.

    The post had nothing to do with my agenda, my experience (other than having to help numerous hurting assemblies), rather as the OP presented what the situation obliges.

    That you do not agree doesn't oblige there being the assignment that you have suggested in your post.
     
  15. Shoostie

    Shoostie Active Member

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    Preemptively inviting deacons to resign, and your other ideas, is only something a first-class jerk would do. I'm telling you like it is.

    Only mentally retarded deacons wouldn't see through your manipulative power play. Don't mistake their civility for anything other than them being the better men.

    You need to get help.
     
  16. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    It is rather obvious your lack of understanding indicates an experiential back ground.

    You project, attitude that was not indicated.

    You present things out of focus such as “preemptively inviting deacons to resign,” and that I have some “power play” in mind.


    None of that was ever the intention nor statements of the post.

    However I will say that had I come as the pastor to your assembly, and if as a deacon you displayed such an attitude, I most certainly have brought every deacons attention to your displaying a divisive spirit of not unifying to the Scripture precepts and they would had removed you.

    The Scriptures are the single unifying instrument of the assembly.

    It matters not who, elder, staff, deacon teacher, pew sitter, if there is to be unity it is to be under the authority of the Scripture.

    The Bible Says:
    Teach and urge these things. 3If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.
    Guaranteed, the Bible stands, and all submit or that assembly is none of Christ’s.
     
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  17. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant Well-Known Member

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    Obviously, you need to do what the Lord tells you to do. But I am not sure telling them that before anything is a good thing to do. For example, if you have 16 who vote against you, you are tying yourself down to a course of action. So maybe you can have that number in your mind. Personally, I think that the 90% threshold is a good one.

    On a purely personal issue... when I went to the church that I spent 19 years at, I was told that there was only 1 "No" vote out of 50 people who voted. I later found out that the negative vote was made by a women who felt that a unanimous vote would go to my head and make me a dictator. :)
     
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  18. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Noticed that in the avatar someone's head is bigger.

    :)
     
  19. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant Well-Known Member

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    I've had lots of people tell me I had a big head...
     
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  20. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Is that why you dont wear a hat???:rolleyes:
     
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