Changes in the bylaws of my former church drastically changed the structure of the church leadership. They minimized the oversight the elders had over the senior minister, and they put the church into a structure similar to corporate governance. The leadership made these changes under the auspices of bringing the bylaws in line with state regulations. Where was the corporate discussion of what this meant to the church body in the future? Where was the explanation of the new governance model?
When the congregation came to vote on the changes, we did so without full transparency from leadership. So, I learned how important it is to ask the hard questions. We had the opportunity to do that when one of the elders presented the changes for a vote, but we didn’t take it. Know the bylaws of your church. Take time to see the financial reports of your church. If either of those are kept away from knowledge of the congregation, find another church that operates in full sight and understanding of its membership.
“The old way of doing things under the abandoned church model gave way to senior minister dictates that led to friction with the staff, to which the elders could no longer minister. The result was the loss of pastoral and administration staff. Questions from the congregation about the staff exodus bubbled up, which precipitated members leaving as well.” (Taylor, Joy S., A View from the Pews — The Inside Story of a Broken Church, 2022, Lily of the Valley Publishing, Santa Claus IN, p. 32.)
A View from the Pews can be purchased on Amazon. #aviewfromthepews