Church Policies and Procedures

When our personal ideas of church order differ from the accepted procedures of the church on the celebration of the ordinances, for example, what should we do about it? Espe¬cially. what should we do if definite innovations are urged upon us by someone officially over us?

Author unknown. 

We ever speak and act in a representative capacity. In our official and church capacities we speak for a movement, not sim­ply for ourselves. In church order and disci­pline we apply the actions and policy of the church in its duly adopted procedures, and not our personal views. These are largely set forth in our Minister's Manual and our Church Man­ual.

If we feel some feature should be changed, we have every right to urge such a change through the proper channels. But when mat­ters are finally decided in duly constituted assembly, every loyal minister follows the de­cision of the church. If one cannot do so con­scientiously, then he should, in honor, with­draw from ministerial activity until he finds it possible to go along with his brethren.

For example, in the celebration of the or­dinances one may perhaps feel personally that the minister should remain seated when he breaks and blesses the bread, and when he blesses and passes the wine to the deacons. But, entirely apart from the validity of the conten­tion, our adopted principle of practice is for the minister celebrating the ordinances to stand. We should all, therefore, as ministers, follow the accepted procedure, and not seek to introduce an innovation—especially not at­tempt to urge it upon the churches if one is in an administrative position.

There are due processes for introducing changes. Let us follow our General Conference and Autumn Council actions. Let us not break ranks in procedures. 

L. E. F.

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