What's a Pastor to Do?

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"Two techniques will greatly facilitate this exchange of perspectives. One is to structure discussion times separately from decision times. ... Another technique for facilitating the exchange of perspectives is simply to give people permission to talk about the issue." What's a Pastor to Do?

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How sad.

How sad.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

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Good stuff

Some good practical stuff here.

I've personally seen both of the discussion-encouraging methods KB describes here work quite well. The idea of separating discussion from decision making is huge. I wish I could say I thought to do it in order to improve the quality of discussion, but at the time it was mostly motivated by the need to shorten the annual meeting. So, not every year, but a couple of times we had a budget discussion time a week before the annual meeting. In retrospect, would have been a great idea to do this with the entire agenda every year and sometimes for the quarterly and ad hoc meetings as well.

Permission to talk about it: also huge. One of the things that fuels church division the most is the conspiratorial urge. There's a side to human nature that finds the idea of plotting an overthrow exciting. Add in some disgruntled members and you've soon got a righteous-sounding revolt movement going on. A great way to diffuse that early is to make all conspiracies "open" ones and part of the official decision making process.     ... it has a way of focusing the chatter on the real goal: making a good decision.

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Because?

James K wrote:

How sad.

Because?

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I will say this: Kevin has

I will say this: Kevin has certainly created some of the best ideas any man could have.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

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James K ... you are classical "naysayer"

James K ... you are classical "naysayer". You dis Bauder's work without providing a workable alternative.

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Jim, throughout this entire

Jim, throughout this entire series I have offered scriptural support of my view opposed to Kevin's.

1. Kevin has never showed where the church is to vote.

2. Kevin has never showed where the church makes any decision by a majority.

3. Kevin has never showed where the shepherds poll the sheep to find out their job.

4. Kevin has never showed where the pastors lack the authority God really did give them.

5. Kevin has never...

So diatribe after diatribe, he continues to just repeat the same points, as though that is building a case for something.

1. Jesus put the apostles in charge of the church while they were alive.

2. The scriptures perfectly represent apostolic teaching, and are now the authority we are to be under.

3. Even while the apostles were alive, the elders were to govern the church under the authority of scripture.

4. The elders (always plural) are to govern the church, taking orders from Scripture, and thus Christ.

5. The elders are the Christ-ordained decision makers within the church.  The sheep have zero authority over the shepherd.

In Kevin's world, pastors are emasculated wimps who teach what they are told to teach, congregations are the masses who rule, and rebellion is perpetuated, because the scripture does not reign in this discussion for him.  So he has offered the best ideas his wisdom can come up with.  I am grateful that Jesus did not leave such important matters up to us to sort out, but that we can simply follow what he has clearly stated.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

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Response to James K who said

The elders (always plural) are to govern the church, taking orders from Scripture, and thus Christ. The elders are the Christ-ordained decision makers within the church.

Comment: I agree and understand that elders (agree w plural) were appointed by apostolic authority ("appoint elders in every city as I commanded you" (Titus 1:5). 

My question: Who appoints the elders today?

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James, I have a question

James, I have a question about a potential decision that churches might make, and I'm wondering how the final decision is made in your perspective. How does a church choose which missionaries to support? Should the members of the church have any input in that type of decision? Do they have input, but then the elders alone make the final decision regarding which missionaries to support and how much support each missionary should receive? Should the decision to drop a missionary be made by the whole church or just by the elders? Would the elders "vote" among themselves regarding which missionaries to support and by how much?

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A little advice for James

Your repeated reference to pastors who follow the model presented by KB as "emasculated wimps" (a term I believe you've used more than once) doesn't help your case. I don't believe you hold to a polity model that has the pastor as a "pseudo-macho tyrant" with "my way or the highway" as his creed.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

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Jim wrote:

Jim wrote:

The elders (always plural) are to govern the church, taking orders from Scripture, and thus Christ. The elders are the Christ-ordained decision makers within the church.

Comment: I agree and understand that elders (agree w plural) were appointed by apostolic authority ("appoint elders in every city as I commanded you" (Titus 1:5). 

My question: Who appoints the elders today?

The other elders.

My church has 4 elders.  If they decided to replace or appoint a new one, they would make that decision.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

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Ron Bean wrote:

Ron Bean wrote:

Your repeated reference to pastors who follow the model presented by KB as "emasculated wimps" (a term I believe you've used more than once) doesn't help your case. I don't believe you hold to a polity model that has the pastor as a "pseudo-macho tyrant" with "my way or the highway" as his creed.

Neither the coward advocated by Kevin, nor the macho tyrant are biblical options.  They both reflect sinful leadership.  The irony is that KB's entire series has been based on sinful leadership trying to solve problems created by... sinful leadership.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

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Kevin Miller wrote:

Kevin Miller wrote:

James, I have a question about a potential decision that churches might make, and I'm wondering how the final decision is made in your perspective. How does a church choose which missionaries to support? Should the members of the church have any input in that type of decision? Do they have input, but then the elders alone make the final decision regarding which missionaries to support and how much support each missionary should receive? Should the decision to drop a missionary be made by the whole church or just by the elders? Would the elders "vote" among themselves regarding which missionaries to support and by how much?

Any wise leader will always consider the advice, counsel, and encouragement of others.  The idea that elders reign from Mt Olympus is as much a reflection of sin as the one who fails to actually shepherd.  However, the final decision on all matters within the church fall at the feet of the elders.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

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I will explain how things

I will explain how things work within my church:

The elders regularly meet with just each other and also with the church to go over the affairs of the church, the speaking schedule, the finances, maintenance, outreach ideas, sermon series, etc.  At any time during the meeting or ANY OTHER TIME a person is free and welcome to bring up a matter.  This can't be stressed enough.  There is a simplicity in simple obedience to Christ.

My contention throughout each of my posts is that the scripture lays at the elders feet the FINAL say in matters.  If there was a contrasting view or hesitation to follow through with something, then it is tabled until all are in agreement.  I will tell this anecdotally only.  I was once in disagreement with all the pastors (associates as well).  After much discussion, we were all able to come to another position that everyone agreed on.  So who wins in that scenario?  Everyone does, elders and the church.  Division would have been a loss for all.  Should the church be of one mind or should it not?  

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

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Unbroken succession?

James K wrote:

 

Jim wrote:

 

The elders (always plural) are to govern the church, taking orders from Scripture, and thus Christ. The elders are the Christ-ordained decision makers within the church.

Comment: I agree and understand that elders (agree w plural) were appointed by apostolic authority ("appoint elders in every city as I commanded you" (Titus 1:5). 

My question: Who appoints the elders today?

 

 

The other elders.

My church has 4 elders.  If they decided to replace or appoint a new one, they would make that decision.

Is this so? Every elder has been appointed by another elder with absolute succession going back to the 1st century?

Didn't think so! So at some juncture either an elder declared himself one or some other selection (dare I say election?) process was in place?

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It honestly isn't that hard

It honestly isn't that hard Jim.  Who does the scripture say can be an elder?

The idea that God couldn't foresee such an issue and make sure it could be covered apart from the foolishness of man is rather silly to me.  You are free to believe as you wish Jim.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

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James K wrote:

James K wrote:

It honestly isn't that hard Jim.  Who does the scripture say can be an elder?

The idea that God couldn't foresee such an issue and make sure it could be covered apart from the foolishness of man is rather silly to me.  You are free to believe as you wish Jim.

James, you said that God foresaw such a situation and made sure it could be covered, but I'm not quite getting from your answer HOW it should be covered. Is there some Biblical way for a church to get an elder without having another elder appoint him?

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Aaron Blumer wrote:

Aaron Blumer wrote:

Some good practical stuff here.

I've personally seen both of the discussion-encouraging methods KB describes here work quite well. The idea of separating discussion from decision making is huge. I wish I could say I thought to do it in order to improve the quality of discussion, but at the time it was mostly motivated by the need to shorten the annual meeting. So, not every year, but a couple of times we had a budget discussion time a week before the annual meeting. In retrospect, would have been a great idea to do this with the entire agenda every year and sometimes for the quarterly and ad hoc meetings as well.

Permission to talk about it: also huge. One of the things that fuels church division the most is the conspiratorial urge. There's a side to human nature that finds the idea of plotting an overthrow exciting. Add in some disgruntled members and you've soon got a righteous-sounding revolt movement going on. A great way to diffuse that early is to make all conspiracies "open" ones and part of the official decision making process.     ... it has a way of focusing the chatter on the real goal: making a good decision.

These are definitely good ideas. I don't recall ever seeing them done in any church of which I have been a part, but I think I will have to begin trying them out in my own church.

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Confused

James K wrote:
 I will explain how things work within my church: The elders regularly meet with just each other and also with the church to go over the affairs of the church, the speaking schedule, the finances, maintenance, outreach ideas, sermon series, etc.  At any time during the meeting or ANY OTHER TIME a person is free and welcome to bring up a matter.  This can't be stressed enough.  There is a simplicity in simple obedience to Christ.

My church does the exact same thing.  Yet in another thread, you said that my church was using a man made invention and was borderline heterodox.  So what's the difference, other than the elders and deacons report on their activity at the quarterly business meetings?

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

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Jay, I have been on vacation

Jay, I have been on vacation and tried to avoid all things internet.  I am finally home.  I wasn't ignoring the question.

Correct me if I am wrong, but in your church's scenario, the leadership are subject to the church's authority.  In my scenario, the reverse is true.  You believe the church has final authority.  I believe the elders do.

When Paul discusses the qualifications of an elder, he says that he must be able to manage his family well or he won't do a good job doing the same to the church.  As previously stated, I believe in a plurality, so collectively they must manage well.  Why did Paul use that analogy for the elder if he really wasn't in a role comparable to a manager?  In contrast, Kevin has presented the scenario of pastors who preach/teach within the lines the church tells them to.  When Paul spoke of that, he condemns the itching ears.

Any pastor who refused to engage and discuss all matters with the assembly is not doing his job in my viewpoint.  So those who claim I am advocating a dictatorial approach have limited categories that could use some creativity to figure this out.  In many ways, this is what makes Kevin's posts so disappointing.  Despite a good education and apparently a deep knowledge of other views, he has gone out of his way to portray the worst concepts of what he disagrees with.  Poisoning the well is what other people do I suppose.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.