Did you miss it? I'm speaking about what happened at our Town Hall meeting on October 28th. God is working, and there are several reasons I say that.
The Town Hall meeting was an opportunity to openly discuss an important part of our Proposed By-laws. I wasn't sure what to expect because there were several "controversial" topics to talk about. Because of that, the Church Council had decided to talk in smaller groups around the dinner tables and then have someone from each table share with others what was discussed.
One topic of discussion was the leadership role of women at BMBC. This is something that has been talked about and talked over within the Mennonite Brethren fellowship of churches since at least the 1980's. No formal decision or policy has been developed over the last 30 plus years, only a couple of resolutions that are non-binding on local MB churches. Since our new proposed By-laws state that the Lead Pastor and Team of Elder members can only be qualified men, the prospects for arguments and conflict seemed to be high.
So, what happened at our Town Hall? Everyone responded with good, healthy discussion and there were no expressions of anger or even raised voices over different interpretations of Scripture. The spirit of loving fellowship and of building up the church prevailed through the power and leading of the Holy Spirit. The positive reports and contributions will be of great guidance and help to our Church Council in producing a final working draft of our new By-laws. That was the desired goal of our meeting. A decision by the church membership is yet to come, but I am looking forward to some more great discussions and decisions.
Also, in our discussion was a proposal for the role of a Team of Elders as our new governing board and the role and make-up of a new Team of Deacons who will serve our church. There were a number of concerns and opinions presented over these two structures, but again God showed up. I believe the discussion served only to build up BMBC. This is the way discussions about important issues in our church should happen with a Christ-centered approach. Thank you, Lord. I am encouraged to know Jesus is Lord over our church and all we do.
Please continue to pray for discernment and guidance by the Holy Spirit as we move forward, and keep in mind the following proposed dates for continuing our discussions:
November 4th at 5:00pm – our fall Congregational Business Meeting where we will vote on moving forward in the direction of the proposed By-laws section on Elders and Deacons (not a final vote for approval).
December 9th at 5:00pm – a special Congregational Business Meeting to vote on approving the new Proposed Constitution and By-laws (amendments will be accepted after motion, seconds, discussion and vote). Members should take several opportunities to continue to discuss the proposed documents before this important meeting.