Wednesday, January 17, 2007

One Messed Up Church Potato

Heard one this week that makes me scratch my head. I imagine it makes Christ weep, though.

Seems an area church was dissatisfied with their preacher. I don't know the reasons. I don't know the situation. In any event, two weeks ago the elders of the church fired him. He then exercised a clause in his contract that allowed him to save his job by calling for a congregational vote of confidence. The vote took place last Sunday. A couple of observations:
  1. Since when can the congregation of a church trump the God ordained leadership? If the overseers of the church decide it is time to go, then isn't it time to go? Somehow I can't see the church in Ephesus saying to Paul, "Hey we've took a vote on this Jerusalem trip you have planned, and we decided that you're not going."
  2. What genius wrote up a contract with a clause in it that allows for the neutering of the church's leaders in the first place? Maybe the same guy that decided it would be a good idea to take a survey to see whether people prefer singing hymns or choruses.
  3. What sort of preacher would think there is any way to come out of this situation with an effective ministry? Whatever the outcome of the vote, the congregation will be divided. This job ain't worth saving, methinks.
In case you're wondering (and I know you are) the vote was 38-36. In favor of keeping the preacher. So, the church is left with an emasculated eldership, a divided body, and a disgruntled pastor.

In their book, Simple Church, Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger compare the unity of the body of Christ to a Mr. Potato Head toy. (You've got to read the book to really get the metaphor, but stick with me here.) You remember Mr. Potato Head, don't you? When properly put together, he's one dapper tuber. But, as often happens, a youngster puts the nose where the arm goes, and the eyes where the feet belong, and Senor Patata Cabesa ends up looking . . . well . . . messed up. Were he a living sentient being, Brother Head would be in real trouble, unable to see, walk, talk, etc.

When the body of Christ lacks unity, they are messed up. I don't know who is to blame for the mess at our sister church, I really don't. But if my friends over there can't get it together, I suspect their going to find themselves knee deep in the mashed potatoes. And, that is truly sad.

1 comment:

Soren said...

That "vote of confidence" never works. Never has. Never will. Bro needs to read the handwriting on the wall and get out. I pray that it never happens to me, but if it does, I hope some brothers will gather round me and say, "Dude, whatever you do, DON'T SPLIT THE CHURCH!" You gotta love the Kingdom more than that.