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Border Crossing 5 Ways to Move Church Voting Beyond the Status Quo

Written by Ed Stetzer on . Posted in Ed Stetzer

Church voting should reflect vision, not current reality.

If your church’s voting isn’t diverse, your church isn’t diverse.

Like many other tribes, my denomination elects regional officers, committees, and boards at conferences during the summer months. Too often, the voting process works against the values we espouse.

I’ll posit a hypothetical Huckleberry District as if it were my own.

In a representative governance model like ours, the election process culls a handful of trustworthy people from the mass of larger bodies to form smaller working groups that can efficiently make decisions. Local churches elect delegates, who then elect leaders at an annual regional meeting. At each level, those elected represent equitably the concerns, commitments, and strategic sensitivities of the Huckleberry District.

But what is the Huckleberry District?

When I try to imagine God's perspective on this question, a seemingly minor change in focus seems necessary.

If the Huckleberry District is primarily the 350 people gathered in the room for annual conference, and if committees and leaders are supposed to reflect that larger body (egalitarian in this example), then based upon the faces historically present, we need to be electing maybe one woman and one person of color. The rest should continue to be white males, as a quick glance around the room could verify. If the holy concerns and strategic sensitivities of the mass of people in the room are big enough, then we’ll be just fine with that fair representation.

Or, if the Huckleberry District is the collection of churches within a denominationally prescribed area, and if leaders and committees are supposed to reflect those churches, then we should still elect a bulk of white people. Half, however, should be female and ...

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