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American Baptists - I need your input/exprieinces please

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by calicokat, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. calicokat

    calicokat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    I know there are all kinds of folks on BYC, so I'm hoping to get some input from those who are American Baptist Church members. And I really, really hope this can be done without getting this conversation locked, because I need some outside opinions & information on how other churches handle this, for an upcoming meeting.

    I'm a church secretary for an ABC, and the pastor retired this past January. We hired a part-time pastor in Oct. He is not Baptist, but comes from a Community Christian Church - type background.

    So, he wants to change how membership is handled. Right now, (and tell me if your church is different, please) we do what most AB churches do - you become a member by coming forward during Sunday morning's Invitation and asking to be a member through: 1. Baptism, 2. Transferring Letter, or 3. Statement of Faith (if you've already been baptized by immersion). And far and away, about 80% become members by baptism.

    The change is *targetting* those who live together, but are not married. What he would like to do, is go ahead and baptize them, but then they are "candidates for membership" and basically, if they don't clean up their act (live apart) they can't be members. So we'd be baptizing folks but they wouldn't be added to the membership roll unless/until the deacons/pastor deems it ok.

    I know there is precident for members being excluded for living together. (Say Bobby became a member by baptism at age 12, and moved in with partner at age 24) but what provisions are there for someone wanting to be a member, but planning on still living together and not marrying?

    How does your congregation handle this??
     
  2. ChickiKat

    ChickiKat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2011
    Eastern Kansas
    What does the church council say about this? Is your new preacher in an interim position?
    I disagree with what the new guy is doing. I am SB and we do like you do, if you transfer, dunk or give a statement of faith then you are a member. He sounds like he is interjecting his own feelings. And he is trying to change a practice that he should not change. I would just ask him, what would Jesus do in this situation and see what he says. Or maybe hand him a stone and ask him if he is sinless!!
     
  3. ChikeeMomma

    ChikeeMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Mid Michigan
    Hi there! [​IMG] Not an AB here -- Church of God out of Anderson, IN. I just wanted to ask others to pm you with the info. I can guarantee that it will get shut down even with your good intentions. Our church is very different in the way it handles new members (more lax) and would allow those that live together to become members, so I can't even begin to help you. Just wanted to throw it out there for people to pm you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
  4. ChickiKat

    ChickiKat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2011
    Eastern Kansas
    Yeah, this probably could/will turn into a very heated discussion..... Sorry for your dilema, good luck.
     
  5. ChikeeMomma

    ChikeeMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Mid Michigan
    Good luck! I hope you get some answers! I just know someone will post something not nice.
     
  6. calicokat

    calicokat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    That's probably a good idea ChikeeMomma [​IMG]

    ChickiKat - the pastor is working with the Deacons on this. Their idea is that those living together are not good "representatives" of our faith, YKWIM, and so should not be Members and represent our congretation - does that make sense? The overall plan is that once they are "candidates for membership" the deacons would be working closely with them about this, hopefully bringing them in as members if the living together thing can be "fixed". It's not meant to be a dunk em and leave em kind of thing [​IMG]

    I'm really trying to keep my opinions out of this, so I can get others' ideas instead [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
  7. calicokat

    calicokat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    Oh, and sorry forgot to answer - he is not Interim, we have hired him.

    But he is Bi-Vocational (the fancy word for Part-time).
     
  8. TinyChickenLady

    TinyChickenLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm of no church at this time but was raised Baptist with a little hint of Pentecostal (sp?) and I can honestly say that just sounds a bit ridiculous to me. Unfortunately, I think his faith has a lot to do with how he wants things run. I'm not a genius when it comes to Bible passages but I like to think I know right from wrong. I understand the Catholic religion is a very strict one and I just can't be that way. I don't think it's fair to say, "You live with Lucy and she's not your wife so you can't be my friend." I know that's not quite how it went but that's how it sounds in my head.
    I would definately try to talk to the council without the Pastor present.
     
  9. ChickiKat

    ChickiKat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2011
    Eastern Kansas
    Quote:You hit it on the head when you said, " he wants to run things". He needs to let God be in charge and if people want to join the church he should let them. We need more committed Christians now.
     
  10. ChikeeMomma

    ChikeeMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Mid Michigan
    Quote:You hit it on the head when you said, " he wants to run things". He needs to let God be in charge and if people want to join the church he should let them. We need more committed Christians now.

    Agreed! It is more like a club to join than a true Godly driven church. I am not at all familiar with Baptist, so please forgive me if I offend in any way -- I don't intend, too. I just feel that if someone wants to be a member of the church then they should be able, too.
     

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