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 […]