Seemingly all churches have difficult, congregational-splitting times; my church is no exception. Two weeks ago based upon a vote of no confidence, our pastor of 5 years was forced to stand down. The way our bylaws are written, he would have had to win 75 percent of the vote to remain as pastor. But he only won 2/3 of the vote. So our bylaws allow a minority to end the pastor’s stay. The vote was triggered by 2/3 of the elders ( 4 out of 6) believing that the pastor should resign or face the very vote.
During the congregational vote, a petition was circulated and signed to have the 4 elders voted off the elder board. The two elders who voted to retain the pastor have since resigned. So if a compromise of some sort is not reached this a.m. the church could find itself with NO elders, no pastor and no way to function according to the bylaws. The bylaws actually require 3 elders for things like nomination committees to work.
The petitioners who wish to vote out the remaining 4 elders, if successful, would quickly re-install the pastor. They would have to do this by basically suspending the bylaws of the church and instituting mob rule. It’s been done before at many churches.
Yesterday, a proposal was made that the remaining elders would begin the process of stepping down but first would make sure there were other elders in place and a nominating committee in place. Each of the remaining 4 elders would resign from the board in 2 month increments. Within 8 months, all 4 elders (who had called for the pastor’s resignation) would be off the board and there would be new elders in place.
To me, this seems wise but the petitioners may still insist on voting everybody out this a.m. We’ll see. Stay tuned. I’m been praying about this for weeks.