Q&A: Should Unanimity Be Required When a Church's Governing Board Votes on a Significant Issue?
Q&A: Should Unanimity Be Required When a Church's Governing Board Votes on a Significant Issue?

My church's governing elder board recently had a vote to lay off an employee, and the vote was not unanimous. Some board members believe that important decisions like this one should be unanimous. As you can imagine, trying to get unanimity on any vote can be extremely difficult. Even if we instituted some sort of a quorum, we would still have a problem because we currently have eight voting members. A tie would keep us from moving forward with a decision. Another complication: My church is nondenominational and so we can't receive guidance from a denominational authority. How should my church resolve this problem?

While many churches and ministries find it comforting and reassuring to have unanimity on significant decisions, that can be a difficult standard to apply to every decision. While it is ultimately a matter of judgment and discernment as to what your church's governance policy should be in this area, you've discovered that requiring unanimous approval can easily immobilize the church when it comes to significant decisions.

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Posted: October 16, 2018
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