In Assemblies of God churches, membership isn’t automatic with salvation/water baptism. To qualify for corporate membership, one who has to have accepted Christ as their Savior, agrees with the core doctrines of the church, attends regularly, and is a tither. You can attend, worship, give, and participate in anything you wish if you are not a member, however you cannot vote in a business meeting, nor can you be in leadership.
However, in many A/G churches (as well as other denoms), this doesn’t filter out those who aren’t hearing from God from voting. You still have majorities of people who are members voting, and couldn’t discern the voice of God from the voice of Mighty Mouse. These are people who sit during worship with their arms folded and have a scowl on their faces no matter what style of worship is being led. They refuse the leadership of Holy Spirit through their pastors. These are people who think the church is voting because it is a democracy, and they have a right for their voices to be heard.
The mentality I just described must be defeated in the New Testament church. We vote in church business meetings, not because we are a democracy, but because we are to ensure we are all hearing from God. It is un-Godly that a church will vote on a pastor or board member, but the members won’t spend any substantial time in prayer before the vote.
Here’s some of what I’m calling American churches to do:
- Repent for stooping to being democratic-operated (for the people, by the people, of the people)
- Understand that a pastor is not a CEO or manager that is being hired. You are to be seeking God to send His man to come reprove, rebuke and exhort (2 Tim 4:2).
- This should be a spiritual decision, not a carnal one, therefore: In a pastoral vacancy, before a candidate (hate that term) is inteviewed, all board members and church leaders should spend no less than 3 days in fasting and prayer, the membership no less than 1 day in fasting and prayer. If the candidate hasn’t fasted and prayed about this location, he would not be considered (do you WANT a pastor who doesn’t feel called to your city/church and is just looking for a job?).
- People who are looking to pastor a church had better stop mass mailing resumes! God isn’t pleased. Get on your knees and seek the Lord for His direction on the region and community you are called to pastor in!
- If a Pastor is going to give account to God for the souls of the sheep he has led, it should be automatically assumed that he has the responsibility (not just permission) to account for a members attendance, spiritual growth, and even their tithe record. In addition, he will bring that into question to bring proper correction to his members (I know some pastors who will scrutinized this information and will not allow you even to sing in the choir if this isn’t in check, yet their church is exploding!).
- If a member is caught gossiping and spreading dissent in the body, they should be sat down, and their membership priveleges will be suspended for a period of time.
Pastoring isn’t a job, and it isn’t a political office. The church isn’t a democratic nation, it is a Theocratic body. America is dying and going to hell because of a gospel that the people choose instead of a Word from Almighty God through His man.