The Member’s Role in Church Elections

The Member’s Role in Church Elections

elec

     

Know Your Role
Once again we have embarked upon that time of the year when election of church officers takes place. It is also that time of year that tends to generate questions regarding the process and fitness of persons for office. Accordingly, as Ministerial Director, I thought to share a few points with pastors and elders with the hope of assisting. Additionally, I suggest that you consult the Church Manual which would prove most beneficial.
 
How Members Are Elected
            Many of you already know that there is the option of appointing a nominating committee or using the existing church board along with a few other members appointed from the floor. Either way the process of electing members should be carried out prayerfully and objectively. While persons may be nominated to serve for up to two years at a time, my experience has shown that many prefer to commit to one year.  Once the task of nominating appropriate persons is complete, and they having consented, it is now time to present the report to the church in a business meeting. The report with a complete officers’ list is presented.  Less than a complete report would constitute a partial report. In presenting the report to the church, the pastor presents it as a whole and not entertaining a vote name by name.  Copies of the report should be provided for members.  If this is not done, then it should be posted so that all can see.  The Church Manual allows for a one to two weeks wait, unless members request to vote the report just after it is read.  It is good to allow members time to look carefully at the report, for it is possible for the nominating committee to overlook “something.” 
 
Members Have Rights
            Should a member have an objection or question regarding the report, the whole report is referred back to the committee to prevent embarrassment regarding anyone in an open business session.  The objector is allowed to meet with the chairman and or nominating committee.  If the point of objection is valid, the chairman ought to give consideration to the matter and have the committee make the adjustment or changes. The point of objecting ought not to be a trivial matter. On the other hand, a member or members should not knowingly sit back and say nothing if there is information that may guide the nominating committee.  To keep silence and then report or complain to someone else is not right.  Neither is it right to blame the pastor or committee when one had opportunity to do something about the matter. 
 
Prepare! Prepare!
            It is also important that preparation be taken seriously, even if the pastor or elder is well acquainted with the Church Manual, for preparation may lend to a smoother and shorter meeting.  A prior meeting with elders before major meetings is a good thing, as it allows for the local church leadership to discuss and clarify matters and thus at the Board or Business Meeting present a united front.  Of course some members may feel that this is a manipulation of the process.  There is no need to think or feel that way; for many of our elders are capable and professional in church matters and procedures.