Committee on Committees

I love talking to James on the phone when he calls. James and I have known each other since the early 2000s. He was a Baptist preacher in Blytheville, AR., and I was the Presbyterian preacher in Osceola. We would talk theology and church life for hours. In fact, we became good friends while we were both there, to the point that one time when it snowed, he and his intern, Heath, tried to ambush me with snow balls.Their mistake: they sent member Skip into the church to lure me out. Once Skip got inside, he told me what they were up too. We slipped out the back door, around the church to come up behind them with our own snowballs. It was so much fun as we peeked around the edge of the building, both Heath and James were peeking around their own corner waiting for me to come out the door. The next classic moment was the expressions on their faces when they saw me running at them with several snow balls.

Then, to their own demise, they decided their best course of action was to run into the court yard of the church, leaving behind all their snowballs, which Skip and I quickly utilized to pelt them with. Nothing better than beating Baptist with their own snowballs!

I believe they thought they got even by driving to the manse (parsonage), and stamping out the words “Baptist Rule” in my yard. It melted before I got home.

We all still keep in touch, even though God has moved us to different parts of the country. The area that James and I talk about the most are movements in the broader evangelical church, and the churches that we use to pastor. This morning, we got to talking about committees. Every church has committees. His claim is that the Baptist have perfected the committee system. As he reminded me, his church in Blytheville had 16 members when he arrived as pastor, and 14 committees. The best committee? The committee on flower arrangements! I still laugh at that one.

What do the meetings go like?

“Mr. Moderator, I move that we change out the spring flower arrangement for the summer flower arrangement.”
“Second!”
Then, after a lengthy discussion in which Sister Mary gets angry and leaves, the motion comes to a vote.
“All those in favor, say ‘aye.'”
Of course, the motions carries, and Sister Mary and her husband, Brother Billy, get upset and leave the church to start their own church, Perpetual Flowers Baptist Church.

Don’t get me wrong. We have the same thing in Presbyterian circles as well. In fact, I think the Presbyterian church invented committees, long before the Baptist were established. I told James this. He agreed, but then went on to say that they have perfected it. I would agree.

Besides the committee on flower arrangements, I think somewhere in the PCA we have a committee on committees. I could be wrong on that. But it seems like that I’ve heard something like that at one time or another. I’m sure that most denominations have their own expression of the committee. What is your favorite committee?

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