Ethics: Deacons Call for Pastor to Resign

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What would you do Wednesday!

Joe McKeever has a sad post about a real life situation with a great outcome over at SBC Today.1 McKeever describes a call he got from a pastor who was informed by his deacon board that they voted he should resign. Not only should the pastor leave, but he should do so silently without informing anyone of the role the deacons played in his resignation.

Imagine this happened to your pastor, but he did not resign. Instead, he brought the issue to the congregation. During a congregational meeting your pastor explains what happened.

The deacons called me one night after discussing my role as pastor in this church. They all voted without my knowledge or  yours on whether or not I should resign. They all agreed that they did not have confidence in my leadership. So I am presenting this issue before the whole congregation today so that we may work through this issue biblically. 

I am asking the congregation to consider the role of the pastor as the Bible states it and to discern with much prayer whether or not I am disqualified and should resign as the deacons have charged. I also ask that we assess the biblical duties of deacons and of the congregation in such matters to better understand all of our roles in the body for future disagreements. As a congregational church this seems to make sense.

After you pastor makes the above statements, one of the deacons calls for a vote calling for the resignation of your pastor at the very moment.

What would you do?

  • Second the deacon’s motion?
  • Follow the pastor’s recommendations?
  • Make a motion for the deacons to resign?
  • Or….?

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bill Mac October 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Follow the Pastor’s recommendation. Where Southern Baptists ever got the idea that the deacons are to have authority in the church is beyond me. This is one area that SBs have gotten wrong, for so long.

2 Griffin Gulledge October 12, 2011 at 7:30 pm

This happened to my family. Except my father stepped down.

3 Carl Holland October 12, 2011 at 9:42 pm

I agree with you, Bill Mac. The SBs have twisted the roll of deacon to fit their idea of a “modern” church. The deacons’ roll is primarily to ensure the poor and widows have food, in a nutshell. Now they’ve become some sort of board of directors. I’ve seen this happen in a church. The interim pastor was teaching on the roll of deacons and others positions within the church. Change came slowly and painfully, but not really until after they ran the pastor off.

4 Dan Smith October 12, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Well, in my fantasy world, I’d stand up, tell the deacon to sit down and shut up, and second his motion, telling the church to vote the right way, which is to keep the pastor at least for now until things could be done correctly. No one says the pastor has to be kept for good, but for crying out loud, this is silly.

5 Peter L October 15, 2011 at 11:37 am

Since when is the church a democracy? I don’t think the Bible ever says a church was 51%-49%, but that they “were all of one accord”. There should not be a vote until there is unanimity. And then there would not be a need for a vote. Such a vote would cause resentment from those in the minority, especially if they wanted to keep the pastor because of his scriptural qualifications and sound doctrine. How many church splits would not have happened if congregations had worked things out before voting.

6 Russ King November 17, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Please review what is stated again.

In this article, we hear in detail from the pastor. We did not hear from the church leaders. We are currently working through a situation where the church leaders are united in the view that the pastor is not right for their church: many have left, stating the pastor and his dealings with them, as the reason. Many others have let it be known to the leaders they will leave within 3 months if the pastor does not. Every member of the leadership board can speak to specific examples of where the pastor has neglected his most basic duties, caused staff to resign in tears, forced his micromanagement on people who were selflessly serving, and the complete lack of compassion any of the membership senses from this individual.

Yet the pastor claims none of it is his fault. It’s all others. It’s a witch hunt. Our drop of 20% in 18 months is a sign we’re going in the right direction. The resignation of all 6 staff people in a year is good because they were all holding us back. The board discussing this with him shows they don’t understand. No one hast the authority to review him.

The ruling board has spent much time in prayer, fasting, and consultation before reaching this point.

In the case sited here, the Pastor has decided to take his argument to the congregation personally. At a minimum, the leadership board has to have the opportunity to do the same. )In our denomination, the leadership board is voted on to lead them by the congregation.) I would argue these things should never be made public like this to the congregation. He has undercut the leadership board completely. He is seeking am “I’m in charge! Come with me or else” stance. The church will definitely split. Those who stay will see within a short time that those who worked closely with him (the leadership board) had reasons for their position, and they will leave also. This action by the pastor will condemn this community of believers to be dissolved. Definitely not what I would expect the Lord to desire.

7 Daron July 10, 2015 at 1:50 pm

Saints we have to remember Both Pastor&Deacon have been ordained by God,and yes there can be if not checked a bumping of head between them.Matthew 5-24 leave your gifts at the alter and reconcile. satan can cause so problem.We as fighters for Christ must band together with the Pastor pray,and win this battle of the mind(stronghold).

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