Nominating Committee is an elected group who is only responsible to prayerfully find Board members each year. In the past Nominating Committee was responsible for board members AND ministry leadership positions. Nominating Committee will ask you for suggestions for Board members (usually in September as many of us have annual meetings in January or February). They will contact each person that you suggest and invite them to be interviewed for the Board position. References checked and much prayer later, Nominating Committee will bring forward a slate (with the exact number of vacancies) in January. They will post for three consecutive weeks, the Board candidates’ pictures and invite you to meet the candidates, and if there is any reason the candidate is not suitable for the position, in your opinion, then you have the responsibility to follow Matthew 18:15-17. In this way, you the society will have prayerfully processed each new Board member!
Three questions about Nominating Committee:
- Should the pastor be on the committee / team?
- Shouldn’t committee present more candidates then vacancies so that the membership gets to choose?
- Should we still exercise the right to nominate from the floor during an annual society / membership meeting?
- In my opinion yes and then no! Yes the pastor should help the committee begin to do their job. It may take a couple of years for the committee to work out some philosophical, habitual, or logistical bugs. But once the committee is “working” the pastor can melt into the congregation and TRUST God and the committee. If the structure is in place then three things should help the pastor trust: a) every potential board candidate should be interviewed and at least one reference should be from the / a pastor on staff (even in a small church candidates should be interviewed); b) candidates’ pictures posted for 3 weeks so that if the pastor does have an issue with the candidate, the pastor can process this concern the Matthew 18 way just like everyone else; c) even board members who have been on the board, but whose first term is up should be interviewed – this is an accountability opportunity to affirm good work, or discuss growth areas, or not affirm people back on to the board.
- No. We are not a democracy. We are a church family who is learning to trust one another in their gifts and responsibilities. This is true in a small church too! Do a good job at society meetings in electing a healthy Nominating Committee. Pastor and Board is responsible to make sure that they know their jobs and follow the steps. Then everyone should step back, PRAY, and allow them to do their job. Presenting more candidates then vacancies could lead to bad feelings, bad optics or a popularity contest rather than a prayerful process including interviews, references and a committee decision.
- No. Where is the fasting and prayer opportunity in that? In a healthy nominating process the potential candidates, their small group and families all have had the opportunity to pray. The Nominating Committee is praying. And then for 3 weeks prior to the society meeting the whole church is praying with and meeting with these candidates. Requiring the Nominating Committee to offer more candidates than vacancies could be like saying: I don’t trust your process, prayers, or system – I trust myself to make the right decision.
There is room within the FMCiC Manual to develop a contextually healthy Nominating process. Please understand the principles outlined in our Manual. Ask good questions about accountability, prayerful discernment, job description, process and healthy structure. If God’s vision for you is to be a church of 20 people until He returns then Nominating Committee is not an important question. If however your sanctified hope is that God would lead people into your church family, so that you would grow in numbers, then start now in developing healthy structures.