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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"Prayerful & Reasonable People"

A Covenant pastor shared this phrase recently when asked to comment on a church policy with which a member disagreed. Not part of the deliberating process, yet confident in the people who made the decision, he said:"Prayerful and reasonable people have come to this policy" and he was not going to question their character, integrity or intelligence.
What a great response to build body life. How often is the pastor asked to abrogate a policy because of a special appeal? While policies are not scripture, but organizational guidelines, they have immense value in protecting the body from the whim of the moment or the force of the loudest voice. Often people react to policies as if they were crafted by devious people in smoke-filled rooms with evil intent. Is not a church policy-making process as sacred as sculpting worship? Shouldn't the way churches work on employee manuals and facility use policies be as prayer-drenched as sending off a mission-team?
A church consultant said that the real mission statement of any church is its budget. The actual way a church allocates its dollars in real-time says more about its priorities than any alliterated banner. So too with policies. Policies should incarnate both grace and responsibility. Policies say that how we operate in real time and on real space is too important to be left to the whim of the moment and requires prayerful and reasonable people to work through the many nuances implicit in the adoption of a church policy.

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