Reflecting on Church #23: A Church Business Meeting Overshadows the Service
With our journey of visiting fifty-two churches over, I can reflect more on the complete experience. Today, I’ll add to my thoughts about Church #23.
It’s challenging to get members to attend a church business meeting during the week, as it requires an extra trip to church that’s squeezed into an already busy schedule. So it’s understandable when churches hold business meetings at the end of their service.
However, conducting church business as part of a Sunday service often provides an uncomfortable experience for visitors. This church business meeting is no exception.
One member questions the makeup of the pastoral selection committee. Other members, either aroused or emboldened by this first comment, join in to voice their dissent. As emotions rise, so does the tension in the sanctuary. Just as civility threatens to escalate out of control, a conciliatory remark ends the discussion. Then they approve the committee slate with only minor murmuring.They forgot the purpose of church. Click To Tweet
The leader dismisses us, and my final memory of the church service is the rancor of their business meeting, not their worship of God. In the spirit of expediency, they forgot the purpose of church.
Church Business Meetings on Sunday
It’s a common practice at many churches to conduct church business on Sunday at the conclusion of the church service. We do this to our shame.
We forget the Old Testament commands to keep the Sabbath holy (which today’s church now views as Sunday) and not do any work. By my account, holding a church business meeting on Sunday violates both of these commands.
Jesus, however, came to fulfill the Old Testament Law and prophecies. That means these two Old Testament commands may no longer apply. In this way, some may now feel the freedom to work on Sunday and not regard it as holy. In doing so they freely conduct church business after a church service.
Even so, tacking a business meeting onto a church service removes us from a worshipful connection with God and replaces it with an often-contentious connection to worldly concerns.
We must save our church meetings for during the week and not detract from our Sunday experience.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.