Saturday, June 13, 2009

Baptist Business Meetings

All pastors have their horror stories. “The big one of ’95.” “The church business meeting where a fist fight broke out.” True story: once during a special called business meeting, one man who was on the losing side of a vote, walked to the front of the church and removed his offering envelope from the plate before walking out the door.

Rick Warren says that because we vote, we have winners and losers. If you hang around church long enough, eventually everybody loses, and so the church is just a bunch of losers. Of course some people just love to fight. Some only come for the show. (You can spot these folks easily, because they have brought Coke and popcorn to the meeting.) Some truly have the best interest of the church at heart. Some are there because they believe themselves to be parliamentarians. (You can spot them also. They are the ones with their Constitution and By-Laws at every meeting.)

I came across an article outing some proposed rules for business meetings. And…I thought I would share them with a hardy Amen!

Here are a few rules I would like to suggest that churches employ for their business meetings.

First, non-tithers should not be allowed to speak or vote at church business meetings. If that rule seems unfair then the time allotted for members to speak should be in direct proportion to how much they give. For example, a person who gives 2 percent of their income to the church should be given the opportunity to speak for 20 seconds, the person who gives 4 percent should be allotted 40 seconds, the person who gives 10 percent for 1 minute and 40 seconds and the person who gives 20 percent should be allowed to speak for 3 minutes and 20 seconds, etc.

Second, no one should be allowed to speak or vote at the church business meeting who is more conversant with the church constitution/by-laws and Robert's Rules of Order than the Bible. I have known deacons who could quote Article III, Section 4, paragraph 6 of the church constitution, but couldn't find the Gospel of John in the Bible.

Third, the only members who can speak or vote at church business meetings should have at least a 75 percent attendance record. In other words, if the church has Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening worship services or Bible studies each week or 12 such meetings a month, a member should be in attendance for nine of those meetings in order to participate in a business meeting.Having this rule will prohibit conniving members from importing scads of inactive members for crucial votes -- like for the termination of a pastor.

Fourth, a man who is silenced and controlled by his wife should not try to make up for his lack of authority at home by attempting to assert himself and control the church business meeting. Unfortunately, some men are as bold as a lion at a church conference and as meek as a lamb at home.

Fifth, some church business meetings should be held in a wrestling arena or hockey rink, because there is nothing spiritual about them and they hardly qualify to be held in a "house of prayer." Half Nelsons and flying pucks are more likely to be seen in some church business meetings than grace and unity.In case you think the preceding suggestions are manifestly unspiritual, I want you to know that I have written them facetiously or tongue-in-cheek -- well, maybe somewhat facetiously. Others of you may be cheering the suggestions because if they were employed, your church business meetings would be significantly improved.

Here is the question: What kind of impression would an unsaved person get about your church if his only exposure to it were a business meeting? Furthermore, if the resurrected Christ were to visibly walk into your church business meeting would He feel at home in His Church?

You can read the entire article here:

The bigger question is, "What do unsaved people think about us?" When they hear us talking about the church, the meeting, the preacher, the choir, the youth. Would what we say make them want to turn to Christ? And if not, why would we say it!?

Food for thought.



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