To Vote or Not to Vote

Today is Election Day in the United States. I’m sure many of you are voting, and many of you may have decided not to vote. With two candidates surrounded by suspicion, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, this has been an election unlike any other. And regardless of who ends up winning today’s election, I would guess that the outcome will have very little impact on your church.

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Something we can’t always say about votes inside the church.

Now, you may be a part of a church that doesn’t have business meetings and congregational voting. If so, be very thankful, but I’m guessing many of you leaders serve in a church that does.

And if you serve in a church that allows the congregation to vote on every little thing long enough, you will quickly find out why that’s a bad idea. People get mad, people get their feelings hurt, decisions don’t get made fast enough, and people often leave the church.

If this is true, why do so many churches still choose to operate this way?

Simple, it’s the way they’ve always done it.

  1. They want to micromanage. They want to vote on the color of the carpet, the new youth pastor, and the Sunday School curriculum. Congregational voting takes away the power from the people doing the ministry week in and week out and gives it to people who hadn’t given it a thought before they walked into the meeting that day. Tell me how that makes sense.
  1. They want to keep everyone happy. In order to not hurt anyone’s feelings churches will demand consensus on every decision. This will often cause simple decisions to get prolonged for months or even years. I went on vacation with my wife’s family this year, and we couldn’t agree on where to eat. How can we expect a church of one hundred people to come to a consensus on every decision?
  1. They don’t trust the staff. We live in a world of paranoia, just look at this year’s election. Trust is not something that comes easily to us. This is especially the case in many churches. When a church doesn’t trust the pastor or staff, it never ends well. If you can’t trust them, fire them. Otherwise, let them lead.
  1. They’re insider-focused. How many times have you heard something like this? So and so left because they didn’t like…(you fill in the blank). Some people aren’t happy about…(you fill in the blank). These churches never think about those outside the church. Their only concern is keeping those they already have.

Democracy has worked great for America for the last 200 years or so. It hasn’t worked nearly as well in the church. If it’s not working in your church, start taking the steps to change it.

Does your church have business meetings? What do they look like? I’d love to hear about it, leave a comment below. Also, make sure to subscribe to the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.

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