Monthly Archives: April 2012

Difficult Decision Series, “Moving the Pastor;” Part II: Why We Do It And How We Do It

We continue our Difficult Decisions Series, where we try to inform you of the difficult decisions that our conference is making now and in the future.

We began by talking about owning our own Campground (which most people seem to want) and how we would address the costs of maintaining and upgrading our own Campground (which may be more of a challenge than we might have anticipated).

Then, two weeks ago, we began our discussion on what we said was probably the most difficult decision that conference administrators have to make that do not involve tragedy or termination: When to move your Pastor.

We began by pointing out that for many Christian churches this is not an issue for their governing bodies. Many churches are congregational; there is no governing body beyond the local church. The local church decides when the Pastor comes and they decide when he/she leaves.

Then, there are non-congregational churches where there is a governing body involved, but the decision seems to be weighted more towards the desires of the local church. In those kinds of situations, the local church sets up a search committee, conducts interviews and then makes a recommendation to the local conference as to whom they wish for the conference to call.

I would imagine that there is an understanding in those kinds of situations that the local conference has the ability to reject the recommendation of the church’s search committee, but, as a practical matter, I do not see how the local conference has a lot of choice. Perhaps, the churches involved all understand that while they have a say, they do not have the say–that belongs to the conference.

It is just hard for me to imagine a local church going through the process […]

By |April 19th, 2012|Categories: President's Blog||0 Comments

Difficult Decisions Series-Moving the Pastor

We began 2012 by sharing with you the difficult decisions that this Administration and this conference would have to make in the days and years to come. We began with a three part series: Our Own Campground: Is It to Be Or Not to Be?”

Today, I want to discuss what I consider to be the most difficult decision that does not involve termination or some sort of tragedy–the decision to move a Pastor.

That decision, is to some extent, unique to black Seventh-day Adventism; that is to say, many denominations are made up of churches that are congregational in nature–that is, there is no governing entity other than the local church that is involved in the selection of the local Pastor. The local church chooses its own Pastor.

Even in many non-congregational churches (such as our state conferences), the local church often has a large say. I remember getting a call to Pastor in a conference on the West Coast. Though the conference made the original call to me to ask me if I were interested in coming there to pastor, it was because the local church had given them my name as the person that they wanted to pastor their church. I interviewed with the local church and they voted to ask me to come. I spent far more time talking to the chairman of the search committee (the first elder of that particular church) about whether I was going to accept the call, what I would need in order to accept the call, etc., than I spent talking to anybody in that conference.

I had one conversation with the President of that particular conference; it was over the phone, when he told me that the conference executive committee had voted […]

By |April 4th, 2012|Categories: President's Blog||0 Comments