Published May 2017
A new way of making decisions for churches.
Recent political events in the USA indicate that ordinary people are
weary of traditional politics and ways of doing business in the halls of
power. A similar mood is present in churches around the world. Ordinary
church members are tired of the fighting and politicking that seem to
privilege the same people all the time. They want a new way of making
decisions in their churches and in their representative meetings. This
book shows them how such a hope can be realized.
Robert’s Rules of Order, or the traditional parliamentary style of decision-making used in many churches, can work for simple decisions that are aggregated and passed by consent. For complex and divisive issues, churches need a decision process that does not result in a combative, winner-take-all approach to church life. A healthy church also tries to involve commitment from a wide range of stakeholders rather than privilege a few well-informed and capable speakers. A vital and healthy congregation yearns for a more collaborative, respectful, encouraging, engaging, and empowering process.
This book on discernment in the church provides a step-by-step guide on how to create a new way of working together. Drawing on tried and tested processes, it advocates for a consensus building approach and showing people how it can work in their setting (local church or judicatory meetings). Readers will learn how to design a consensus building business process for their church meeting while still respecting the denominational and legal requirements under which they must operate.
This book is for leaders, members of church boards and committees, and church members who know that there is something wrong with the present system but don’t know what to do about it. This guidebook is hopeful, inspiring, and practical.