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The Dangers of a Quiet Governance Change

Subtly shifting who has authority to make key decisions in your church may make sense—but may also erode congregational trust.

The Dangers of a Quiet Governance Change
Image: Makhbubakhon Ismatova | Getty

In recent years, and without much fanfare, many churches have quietly shifted their governance structures, moving from structures where voting rights for key decisions reside with members of the congregation to structures where that authority exclusively rests in the hands of a group of elders or the church’s board.

To church leadership, the shift may make sense on paper, reducing burdens and creating efficiencies. But making such a shift also threatens to erode the trust of a congregation if it is done for the wrong reasons, or if it is done for good reasons, but mishandled. When such a significant change goes awry—as has been witnessed at a handful of high-profile churches—the consequences can be devastating.

Christianity Today’s podcast The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill powerfully demonstrates the trouble that can arise in a church when decision-making power gets consolidated. ...

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Posted:
  • March 29, 2022

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