Friday, June 27, 2008

A Question: Church as Democracy

Here's a question that I've been pondering. Within my congregation, we don't "elect" elders per se. But we submit their names as people we think would be good to serve in those roles. If enough submissions are put in for a person, that person or persons agree to or not to stand as elders. We then have the opportunity to raise concerns about them and their fit-ness for the position and then they are ordained. The truth is, once a person's is submitted to the congregation publically, they're pretty much in.

So here's my question: what is the responsibility of the elders, rather of the shepherds to the sheep? If enough of the congregation takes a concern to the shepherds, are they obligated to do something about it? I don't think church is a democracy, but is it authoritarian that is benevolent?

What is the responsibility of elders to the flock and conversely, what is the responsibility of a flock to its shepherds?


Jim Voorhies said...

Is it not the responsibility of the leader to also follow and that of the follower to also lead? (Good grief, I'm sounding like Kahlil Gibran.) It is a body of Christ and like any body, should take note of concerns the body has.

Ben said...

On the surface...I don't like "church" as a "democracy". I also am becoming more uncomfortable with the use of "church" referring to a congregation or denomination. Jesus is head...Shepherds protect, lead, and like Jim says, follow too.

Back to "church" on a larger scale...can I follow shepherds at other denominations from which I had no influence on making them elders?

However, when the apostles cast lots to choose a replacement for Judas, that seemed to be the preferred method of the day. Would that be a good comparison to today in saying that "voting" is our preferred method? With either way, can't we trust God in the method we use?

If we can, then is it really a democracy? Isn't it just Christ, working through our democratic ways?

Sorry for asking more questions.

Tony Arnold said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tony Arnold said...

Is the church not a monarchy with Christ at the head?

Or am I being too obvious here?

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