I’ve been in church all of my life and I have seen and heard all kinds of “things” take place in church business meetings. When I was in college, the first Wednesday I was home for summer break I went to church for Wednesday evening prayer meeting. There was a short Bible study and prayer time but things seemed a little strange that night. I didn’t know there was going to be a business meeting that evening and that most of the people around me came ready to let their voice be heard. People that I knew and loved began arguing, and then yelling at one another. It was suddenly apparent that there was a church split happening right in front of me and they were arguing over who was going to get the land that had been given to the church to build a new church. I can remember putting my head down and thinking how sad this must make the Lord.
Years later and at a different church, we had a Sunday evening singing and the pastor asked the members to stay after church for a short meeting. Our Pastor had recently given his resignation and some wanted him to stay (and some didn’t). I soon realized that things were going to get ugly. I had two young children at the time and immediately told Jenny we were leaving. As we were leaving, a good friend (everybody in the church were my friends) stood up and I can still remember her shouting, “You are a liar” to our Pastor. Relationships in the church were never the same after that evening fiasco.
Over the years, I’ve heard even worse stories of what transpired in church business meetings. It grieves me to think that Jesus shed His blood to purchase His bride (the church) and sometimes we can act so maliciously towards one another and completely forget all that He teaches us in His Word. I’ve never been to a business meeting at Burlington Baptist and I certainly don’t expect anything silly (or sinful) at our business meetings. But, I have been thinking about what kind of business meeting culture would most honor the Lord. If the church belongs to the Lord, that should be a top priority.
Maybe we should start with the question, “What is the main business of the church?” I think most of us would agree that the answer should include sharing the gospel, seeing people saved, making disciples, and seeing lives changed for the glory of God. However, I’m not sure we think much about the “main business” at our church business meetings. If seeing lives changed with the gospel in our main business, how do we celebrate that? It’s been said that we often “replicate what we celebrate”.
So, at our business meeting (this Sunday evening at 5:30 in the Activities Center), I think we should start by celebrating the lives that have been changed by God since our last business meeting. We should put that at the top of the agenda (under “Main Business”). I’m sure there are other issues of business that should be discussed, but hopefully we can regularly be reminded that those items are secondary, or supportive, to the main business.
I hope you will join us on Sunday evening and even offer some input on how we can celebrate what God has done and what He might want to accomplish in the future through His people at BBC. Every time we gather as a church family, we should do some worshipping (at least through prayer), offer some praise to God, fellowship with one another, and then consider how what we are doing contributes to the main business of sharing Christ with others and growing in our faith. After our business meeting we will worship the Lord through singing at our “Roots of Worship” service at 6:30 and then we will have a little ice cream social afterwards. I’m kind of excited about all 3 (even the business meeting). Hope to see you there! Bro. Harold
PS… Did I mention that I really like homemade banana ice cream? J