The Member’s Role in Church Elections

Once again we have embarked upon that time of the year when election of church officers takes place. Accordingly, I share the following based on my understanding of the Church Manual. I would encourage each member to obtain one and read it.

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 amount to a partial report. When it is presented to the church, the report is presented 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 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.

Accepting the Final Decision

Once the church votes the Nominating Committee’s Report democratically, in business session, it is necessary that each member accept the outcome and support the pastor and various programs of the church. It is only when members and pastors are united and committed to the mission statement of the church as noted in Revelation 14 that the church is most effective. Let’s make 2013 dubbed “The Year of the Laity” a great year!