After a long, dry sermon, the minister announced that he wished to meet with the Church Board following the close of the service.
The first man to arrive and greet the minister was a total stranger. “You misunderstood my announcement. This is a meeting of the Board Members,” explained the minister.
“I know,” said the man. “but if there is anyone was who more bored than I was, then I’d like to meet him.”
For my part, I have been involved in a series of Board Meetings this week. And this is not to imply that I was in any way bored. In fact, I was somewhat intrigued by what all we discussed. You see, the denomination of which I am a part (The Southern Baptist Convention) practices what is known as congregational polity. This means that decision making is largely done from the bottom up as opposed to from the top down.
Each local church is an autonomous body which governs itself, and voluntarily associates with other congregations of like faith and order. These associating churches come together to comprise a state convention of churches, as well as a national convention. In Tennessee, there are over three thousand SBC churches which send messengers once a year for a three day series of meetings to conduct business.
In the meantime, an Executive Board, comprised of representatives from the various churches meets periodically throughout the year to carry on the work of the State Convention. Hence, my recent series of meetings. In truth, it was good to hear reports from the various Missions Organizations, Academies, Colleges, Universities, and Hospitals, as well as Nursing and Children’s Homes.
As we did, we were able to celebrate all the many wonderful things being carried out in the name of Jesus Christ, and especially the lives being changed as a result. And maybe, just maybe, that helps to make up for some of those not so engaging sermons that I and the other ministers participating may have delivered along the way.
NOTE: Phillips’s book is available online at: http://books.