Saturday, March 26, 2011


I attended the first couple of hours of a training session for local church lay speakers last night.  Part of the training was to consider the difference between running a meeting using parliamentary procedure or with the idea of holy conferencing and consensus.

One participant asked how consensus could be used by an entire church to make decisions.  I've had the same questions. 

I remembered an experience a pastor told me last week.  His church has just bought a nearby piece of property when the family who had inherited a church member's property across the street offered to sell it to them.  It was property the church had been interested in buying.  The church struggled through the decision, praying about it, trying to decide.  One Sunday the pastor, in his sermon, said that he felt as if they should not buy the property (especially since they had just bought the property behind the house).  He told his church that if someone disagreed with him, to come and speak to him about it.  He was open to his mind being changed.  The next Wednesday, the family gave the church the property as a gift.

I wonder if consensus decision making is exemplified by the attitude of the pastor.  He felt a certain way, but remained open other people's discernment of God's will.  Does consensus building happen when we realize that together, as a community, we are better equipped to hear God's word than as an individual.  Are we able to build consensus because we realize we are not called to make decisions solo?



Post a Comment

<< Home