Jump directly to the Content


Just to announce it provoked mixed reactions. A majority displayed "couldn't-care-less" attitudes and never attended. Others carefully marked it on their calendars as the occasion to exercise Godgiven rights to free speech. The elders and pastoral staff approached it with all the apprehensions of a bomb squad. The rest came for the fireworks.

The pattern was predictable: after reporting on "all the wonderful things God did for us last year," a new budget was presented for discussion and adoption. The tension could be sensed, felt, and I almost tasted as the pace of questions quickened about allocations for the church school, missions support, the music budget, manse repairs, and staff salaries. If a massive explosion didn't occur during the meeting, smaller eruptions took place afterward in the corridors, parking lots, and homes across the community. The end result was always the same: the motion to adopt the budget was carried by a simple majority, but the fallout of misunderstandings, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

From Issue:Spring 1980: Conflict
Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
What’s True About Christian Fiction
What’s True About Christian Fiction
“This Present Darkness” and other bestsellers show us the history of evangelicalism—and how it could be different.
Editor's Pick
How Might the COVID-19 Crisis Reshape our Churches for Good?
How Might the COVID-19 Crisis Reshape our Churches for Good?
We have a unique opportunity to reset, pivot from old patterns, and look afresh at the future.