Tis The Season

‘Tis the Season! I’m not talking about Thanksgiving…Advent….Christmas…New Year’s Day! I’m talking about annual business meetings. Most of our churches will hold an annual meeting in the next few months.
I spoke about the nature of Congregationalism at the annual gathering when I said that Congregationalists are known as the people who VOTE. However, our history as Biblical Congregationalists shows that our forefathers were known as people who were DEVOTED to the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Look again across the years to the church at Scrooby. Did they become Congregationalists just because they didn’t like the form and government of the established church? Not for a minute! Their concern was for Christ!…To those men and women, the New Testament seemed to be saying that to people who faithfully come together with open and asking hearts the Risen Christ would come. They believed that the one thing that made it possible for Him to come to them was their common love for Him; that it was His presence among them – and this alone – that made them a church.” (The Congregational Way by Arthur Rouner) I am not for taking away anyone’s vote. Rather, I believe that God’s Word tells us that every vote should reflect our devotion to Jesus. An annual business meeting is a great opportunity to demonstrate a devotion to Jesus, His people, and His mission. The agenda should include times of worship, sharing from the Word, and prayer. This will center our hearts on the Lord and guides our decisions.

One of my favorite business meetings featured a unique time of sharing. Building on the Old Testament stories of building a memorial to the Lord, we asked everyone to join an exercise of building a memorial. One by one, people stepped forward and took a brick and help us build a memorial at the front of the church. We ask people to place a brick that demonstrated a special way they were encouraged in their faith in the past year. We then had people share stories of God’s faithfulness in their lives and in the ministry of the church. Our hearts were unified in faith and all of the votes were unanimous.  A business does not have to a boring experience with an agenda of votes! It can be a time of joy and celebration that reflects our devotion to Jesus.

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