What do the bylaws say?

Order and disorder in the church

I had never concerned my­self much with a congregation's bylaws, those documents that prescribe what each board or committee of the congregation is for, who can serve on each one and for how long, and generally how a church is to do its business. As a young pastor, I found issues of terms, officers, meeting dates and quorums pedestrian stuff. I was into the important matters: preaching, teaching theology, community ministry, pastoral care. Who cares about the bylaws? I didn't. Moreover, it seemed to me that those who did care a great deal about church bylaws were far more enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the bylaws than they were about scripture. A bad sign. It seemed to me that the bylaws were often trotted out as a way of extinguishing the Spirit.


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