Minister's Study

Ministering, writing, and wrestling in a land flowing with sweet tea and deep-fried food

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Two weeks to know

Things have moved quickly here at Bible Baptist lately. At the deacon's meeting last Monday, Pastor Gibbs notified the deacons that he planned to retire June 30.

Though the announcement itself took the men back a bit, I don't think anyone was surprised that it was happening. As we talked, we decided that it would be good if I could leave the newspaper and go full-time with the church before Pastor retires, so I can get a feel for everything he does. We settled on May as the ideal time for that, since the church probably has enough saved to sustain the two salaries for that long, but not three months.

We then decided that we should have the church vote about me becoming the pastor sometime prior to that (getting a new pastor isn't a fiat kind of thing -- the pastor doesn't just appoint his successor in our church. The church votes about any new pastor.) Since our constitution mandates two weeks of notice before such a vote, we settled on announcing the vote the first of April and having it in the middle of April.

We made the announcement to the church on Sunday, as I mentioned in an earlier post. But as we got to thinking about it, the deacons, pastor, and I thought that the earlier we voted on my becoming the pastor, the better. Not to ramrod things through, but to minimize uncertainty and delay. We moved the vote up into March.

Then at the annual business meeting Wednesday night, the deacons announced that they were nominating me to be the new pastor, and we'll vote in two weeks. Whew. At least that means we should know very soon where we stand.

I haven't set a specific percentage of the vote I'll want before taking the call, but it would be high. I'd hate to walk into a leadership position with only 60 or 70% of the people behind me. I might not necessarily need 100%, but I'd sure like it to be close.

And if you hear about some scandal involving me and the ABC store and a high-speed chase and automatic weapons, it's just a rumor started by my newspaper -- they're threatening to use the power of the press to prevent me from leaving to go full-time at the church.


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