Saturday, November 23, 2013

Nominations for Church Council

Later today, I'll head over to church for a Nominating Committee Meeting.  How does your church handle nominations for Church Council?

I've never been part of a church that handles nominations the way my current church does.  My current church council selects a nominating committee.  The committee meets separately and very privately.  I'm not always part of the committee, but I have been, and here's what happens.

We open in prayer and then silence.  We have paper.  We write down names that bubble up.  After a certain amount of time, we compare notes.  We develop a slate of nominations to take back to Council.  From that slate, Council prays for wisdom about who would  be best.  Then Council develops a slate to take to the church meeting in January.

At the church meeting, nominations can come from the floor, but they rarely do.  Usually, the Church acclaims the slate of names.

This process is much less divisive than the ones I've heard about in many churches.  Many churches have regular elections, where people run for office--sometimes complete with campaign themes.  As you can imagine, it can get ugly.

In most churches where I've been a member, they've been small churches where it's hard to find anyone willing to serve.  The process we've adopted doesn't rely on volunteers.  We go to them to say, "Your name came to our minds when we prayed and asked the Holy Spirit for the best candidates for Council."

People can still refuse, of course.  Holy Spirit promptings or no, some people are already overwhelmed without adding another commitment to their lives.  But it feels different than the crass campaigning that's a danger of doing Council elections differently.

You might scoff at the idea that the Holy Spirit gets involved with us this way.  At first, I had doubts too.  But having gone through the process, it does feel more mystical than other ways of electing Council members.  It does feel like God will be present in the process if we ask.

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