Who’s in Charge of the Business Meeting?

I enjoy business meetings.  I know that the first Wednesday after the first Sunday of every month, we’re gonna have a business meeting.  I like the debate, the order, etc.  Which brings me to my question: Who’s in Charge of the Business Meeting?  Right now at our church, we have been w/o a pastor for 6 months.  Before he came, he requested that the by-laws be changed to make the pastor the moderator for the business meetings instead of electing one.  The Chairman of the Deacons was named as the associate moderator.  Well, at the first business meeting after the pastor left (which was on good terms), a man of the church brought forward a motion to revert the constitution back to the way it was before.  Well, this was quite the circus of rambling, mumbling, and talk before the motion was sent to our Constitution and By-laws Committee.  Now a few months later, they are bringing a motion to the next business meeting (2 weeks from today) where they will recommend some changes.  Here is one:

  • The pastor will no longer be moderator, but we shall elect by secret ballot each year 2 members of the church to serve as moderator and associate moderator.

To me, this is alright I guess.  If the moderator knows how to keep control and when you do and don’t need a second then that just helps us move quickly.  But I was just curious if any of you out there have any thoughts on who runs the business meetings?

Now, the bigger issue of the change is another change to the pastor’s role.  Right now, here is what our by-laws say about the pastor and committee’s followed by the revised change:

  • CURRENT – He shall have supervision of the work of all the church staff, and shall serve as the church moderator and preside at all meetings of the church, and shall serve as an ex-officio member of all committees of the church and its organizations.
  • PROPOSED – The pastor shall have management responsibilities for the work and ministries of all the paid church staff.  The pastor shall lend his services and leadership to all committees of the church and its organization.

I am struggling with whether or not I like this change.  Our church is “single-elder” led congregationalism, which translates that we do not have elders, but a pastor and deacons.  So, I think it’s important for the pastor to be involved in each committee to make sure that we are all following the church’s vision instead of just going random directions.  However, if the pastor is on every committee and his vision or theology is bad, then he has the potential to “infect” all the committees and thus the church. 

So, that’s where I am.  I’m thankful for the By-Laws committee for putting all the time into this that they did and look forward to hearing from them.  If anyone out there has any advice or practical experience, let me know!

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