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Having an online discussion with a Pastor from an overseas church.
His board have witheld his salary after months of squabbling, despite the church overwhelmingly supporting him and his call.

The board have the constitutional power, and yet he believes he needs to stick it out. Other people think he should give up and start new church somewhere else.
Are there any principles about staying and persevering, or cutting your losses and moving on?

I am a pretty 'stubborn' person, and I dont think we should let people do what is wrong, just because they think they can, and have always done. Negative caustic behaviour needs to be addressed.

Speaking personally, if my family started to suffer unduly, I would be gone. They come first. But apart from that, I reckon sticking it out will eventually bring rewards.

11 comments:

  Alex H

7:44 am

If the cogregation support him to that degree, maybe they could give their tithes directly to him? I'd also be reconsidering the board's position if I were a member (and not knowing their governance structure).

But no one would think less of him if he left. It's a shocking position to be in. People get concerned about unaccountable pastors, but what about unaccountable boards?

  Mark Edwards

9:14 am

yep

  Anonymous

4:39 pm

I any proper member governed body, including a Church structured that way, both the Board and the Pastor are susecptible to member control.

Surely there must be a members meeting.

If the members support the Pastor he should stay, if the members support the board he should go.

It the members do both well they deserve really neither a board nor a Pastor, but probablly need both more than most.

  Anonymous

4:41 pm

Further to my previous post, I leave it implicit, that in a members run organisation of any kind, there cannot be any such thing as an unaccountable board, it just isn't a possibility.

You can have members fail to make them accountable but that is a different thing entirely - almost consent or ratification by default.

  Mark Edwards

2:15 pm

You make some god points,
the bylaws and constitution are important,

but it is a sure sign of unhealthiness when a church has to revert to them

  Anonymous

2:50 pm

if God is speaking to the board and the Pastor and telling them different things, well someone has to sort it out, and constitutions of member run organisations leave it up to the members.

I'm assuming both Church and Pastor are on the moral high ground convinced everything they are doing is 100% correct the way God wants.

  Mark Edwards

2:16 pm

I did not say it was not necessary to have a good constitution to revert to, it is,
But it is necessary because as you have implied, one or both of the parties are not listening to God.

If it was a healthy happy functioning church that was listening to God together, as evidenced in the book of acts, they would not need to revert to their constitution

  Anonymous

8:23 am

I sort of did imply that one of the parties was not listening to God, but that was more careless than deliberate.

I was trying to say that they both are genuinely seeking the will of God and acting accordingly.

There are any of a million theological questions from the trivial to the very serious where Christians do believe a broad range of things - and sometimes these things lead to conflict.

I don't think needing to revert to the constitution to determine the direction the whole group is going to take is a bad thing at all.

I don't think it is perfect but then I don't think the board nor the Pastor is perfect either.

  Mark Edwards

10:02 am

I agree, its not a bad thing. It is a shame though when it has to happen, because at that point, we are focused not on reaching people for Christ, but on internal differences.
"They will know you are Christians by the love you have for each other"

Maybe my view is that constitutions are a necesary evil, as neither the pastor nor board nor congregation are perfect.

  Anonymous

7:00 pm

so what did he do?

  Mark Edwards

10:44 am

The vote from the congregation was 80+ % for him to stay.
They have now started paying him direct.
A member from the board came into his office this week with a DCM notice (Don't come MOnday). He ignored it and preached this week. They expected him to leave because they stopped paying him. BUt the church keeps coming, and paying him direct.
Hard to know exactly what is happening, only hearing his view point and being so far away. But either way, he believes God wants him to persevere and see the board off (!)

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