Friday, May 5, 2017

Congregational Membership

I am a Congregational minister. Yet I find that Congregational members so often do not seem to grasp the power, the privileges, the hopes placed in them -- by the present generation, and by their forebears. The assumptions of members often seem to be those which one finds in so many other Churches: a member gets put on the mailing list, a member is listed on Church rosters, and ... "Goodness me, what else?" In a Congregational Church, however, members have the power to overrule even the minister, even the elders, even the deacons -- and that is not yet touching on the power of ministry that they have. So they need to stay on their toes, and think as if they were running the Church -- which of course they are. OBSERVATION: It is a spiritual principle, often enshrined in Congregational constitutions. Christ speaks only through all the members assembled.

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