Annual Statistical Church Evaluation

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Mark North settled into the fourth pew from the front beside Danny Cole, who pastored just west of him in Plainfield. It was the annual sectional ministers meeting and it was just getting ready to start. His good friend, Brother Vernon Baker, was Sectional Presbyter. Brother Baker stood to call the meeting to order and after a short prayer and a few words of greeting, he began to speak in earnest.

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By Tim Massengale

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Mark North settled into the fourth pew from the front beside Danny Cole, who pastored just west of him in Plainfield. It was the annual sectional ministers meeting and it was just getting ready to start. His good friend, Brother Vernon Baker, was Sectional Presbyter. Brother Baker stood to call the meeting to order and after a short prayer and a few words of greeting, he began to speak in earnest.

“Brethren, I want to talk to you about something you may or may not be aware of. I want to talk about your church’s roster roll. Now, most of you know what I am referring to – I’m talking about your official church membership list. If your church is incorporated within our great state – as it well should be – then you are required by law to hold an annual business meeting. At this business meeting you must maintain a roster roll of members. These are those individuals that are official members of your church and have met your membership qualifications. They are eligible to vote on matters of the church. There are three very important reasons why this is critical. Let me review them quickly.

“First, your church should be incorporated to protect your church members from liability in case of lawsuit. We live in a very litigious age. People sue at the drop of a hat. If you end up with a slip-and-fall suit or one of your youth workers molests a child, chances are you will be sued, if not by the individual, then by their insurance company. If you are incorporated this makes your church a separate entity in the eyes of the law. But if you are not incorporated – then the bank accounts and personal assets of your members become liable for redress. If you are incorporated, they can go no farther than the accounts and assets of the church. Your personal assets and your member’s assets are protected. But for this to work you have to hold that annual business meeting and keep your membership roll up to date.

“The second reason is the one I want to emphasize here today. Your roster roll determines who can vote. Recently one of our good pastors was accused of immorality. He stated emphatically that it was not true and frankly I believe him. But it caused considerable dissention in the church. The church bylaws stated that if such a situation arose, and there was no clear evidence to prove his innocence, that there should be held a vote of confidence. If the pastor had lost the confidence of a majority of the members, then he would be removed. Well, this dragged on until it came to just that – the church was called together for a vote of confidence on their pastor.

“Well, long story short, he had not kept his roster roll up to date. In fact, there was no official roll of members at all. So when Bro. Thompson and I showed up to officiate at this meeting, the house was packed with those siding against the pastor. Sadly, they had brought with them anyone who had ever had past contact with the church. There was no way to stop them from voting because there was no membership roll. He lost the vote and was removed as pastor. Had he maintained his membership roll, chances are he would still be in his pulpit.

“So brethren, don’t neglect your annual business meeting; and keep your membership roll current. This list of members, based upon what your bylaws state are the requirements for membership, should be updated each year. Believe me, I don’t want to go through this kind of tragedy again.

To View the Entire Article, Click Here

To Download the File Directly to Your Computer, Click Here

To View the Outline, Click Here

To View the PowerPoint, Click Here

To Order More, Click Here

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