This last week we had an All Church Meeting, and we voted in members. This was the first time we formally did this, and some people asked me questions about why we vote in members. One person from outside of our church saw on our website that we were voting in members and thought it sounded rather strange. So, why do we do this?
The main reason is about power. The goal is for the local church to use power in a godly way. If the Pastor or Leadership Council are the ones to decide who can become members or not, that too narrowly consolidates power, and the votes all go in one direction. This is the same reason we have a Nominating Committee – the people who pray and discern who should run for the Leadership Council. The Committee’s names go to the Council for approval, then to the Congregation for final approval. Even the Nominating Committee itself is voted on from the Congregation at the All Church Meeting. Yep, it is confusing! But a little confusion is worth making sure we are dealing with power in a godly way.
The Head of the Church is Christ. Ephesians 4:15-16 say, “Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” The final authority is not the Pastor, nor the Council, not even the Congregation – it is Christ. When we go to vote it is not primarily about democracy – it is the belief that the Holy Spirit lives in all of us, and together we have a better chance of hearing that still small voice.
So that is why we vote. We are willing to go through a little confusion and even be considered a little strange to handle power in godly ways. Of course, if you have any questions or comments please let me know! I am so thankful for our church family, and how God is growing us even in organizational ways.