IBCB Pastoral Candidate Approval Voting

 

Introduction:

 

IBCB's Constitution prescribes the general process of selecting a new pastor.  The process, which begins with the creation of a pastoral search committee (known as the selection committee) ends up with the choice of one candidate recommended to the Elders. On approval of the Elders, the candidate is introduced to the congregation and put forward to the members for a vote.

 

Having completed this process, it is then time for the congregation to make their voice heard and to vote on the candidate put forward by the Elders.

 

From the IBCB Constitution –

Senior Pastor: As an elder the senior pastor of this church shall be a male baptized believer who is in agreement with the Statement of Faith, recommended by a selection committee that has been appointed by the elders and endorsed by the church members. Terms and conditions shall be determined in writing at the time of appointment and subject to periodic review. He shall take initiative in providing and promoting leadership, preaching and teaching the Gospel, evangelism, shepherding and discipling members, reaching out to prospective members and administering the ordinances. He will be an ex-officio member of church committees as assigned by the elders.

 

In order to determine the wishes of the congregation, the elders have put forth the following voting scheme which will be in use for pastoral candidate approval:

 

Voting Members:

 

From the IBCB Constitution –

MEMBERSHIP: The church shall recognize as members all those who are regularly attending baptized believers who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior being born again, and who manifest the fruit of the Spirit in their lives, and are in agreement with the doctrine and polity of this church.

 

Voting members will be anyone who meets the above qualifications and is 16 years of age or older at the time of the official vote date (in the current matter before the members, that date is 21 January, 2018).

 

The Process:

 

A regular Voting Day is determined, always on a Sunday, and announced to the congregation at least three weeks in advance (in the current matter that date will be 21 January, 2018). Voting will take place at the church facility following the regular Sunday service. Members will be invited to come to another room where they can cast their ballots (see absentee voting below for early voting options).

 

  • On the day of the vote, the Elders will appoint an Voting Committee made up of one elder and three members of the congregation who are present at the time of the vote.
  • The Elder will oversee the process but not take part in the counting
  • Voting Committee members from the congregation will be responsible for certifying the ballots, resolving issues related to spoiled ballots, and counting the votes
  • The Voting Committee will report the results of the vote to the Elders and the congregation

 

  • Anyone who wishes to vote will be asked three questions – answering “yes” to the three questions will qualify the member. The qualification questions are:
  1. Do you meet the qualifications as a member, based on the church constitution (we will have the membership clause ready to show anyone who asks)
  2. Are you at least 16 years of age
  3. Do you stipulate that you have not previously cast a ballot in this matter.

 

  • If the individual is qualified to vote they will receive an envelope as well as a paper ballot. Pens will be made available for marking the ballot.
    1. The member will mark the ballot, selecting YES or NO – to the question “I AM IN FAVOR OF CALLING ED TARLETON AS IBCB’S NEXT PASTOR
    2. The member will fold the ballot paper and place it in the envelope provided and seal the envelope
    3. The member MUST print his/her name on the face of the envelope AND sign the face of the envelope, below the printed name
    4. The ballot will then be handed to a member of the Voting Committee who will verify that the name is on the envelope (if not the voter will be asked to add that information before the envelope is accepted) and once verified the envelope will be placed in the ballot box for counting (or given to an elder if the member is casting an absentee ballot – see absentee voting below).

 

  • After the member has voted he/she will be asked to leave the voting room. Members may wait in the refreshment area for the voting tabulation results.

 

  • After a reasonable period of time, the Elder on the Voting Committee will make an announcement asking if anyone else wishes to vote – afterwhich time the voting will be closed.

 

  • Once voting is closed the voting the room will be “off limits” to anyone except for members of The Voting Committee. No additional votes will be permitted.

 

  • The overseeing Elder will receive all absentee ballots for introdution into to ballot box before counting begins (see absentee voting below).

 

  • The Voting Committee will alphabetize the ballots and review them to ensure that no one have voted twice.

 

  • Ballots which are not signed on the face of the envelope will be put aside and not counted in the vote.

 

  • Ballot verification will be as follows:
  1. All three members of the Voting Committee will individually count all of the accepted envelopes and record the total number of votes cast – this must match with the overall count at the conclusion of the process.
  2. After the number of envelopes are counted, one member of the Voting Committee will open up each ballot, without revealing the name of the person voting  (on the face of the envelope), and will pass the ballot to the remaining two members who will verify that the ballot is valid for counting. At this time members of the committee are only looking to see whether the vote is valid or not. Invalid ballots are those where:
    1. The ballot is marked twice
    2. The ballot is blank
    3. The Voting Committee cannot determine the intent of the voter
    4. If there is a division among the two committee members as to whether the vote can be counted, the Elder overseeing the process will make the final determination.
  3. If the ballot can be voted it will be placed in the count box for later counting, if the ballot cannot be counted, it will be placed back in the original envelope and set aside. In this case the total number of votes determined above will be reduced by one.
  4. After all ballots have been verified the Voting Committee will commence counting.

 

  • Ballot counting will be as follows:
  1. One Voting Committee member will take a ballot from the box and report the vote
  2. A second committee member will record the vote
  3. The third committee member will stack the votes into two piles (Yes and No)
  4. After all the ballots have been counted the second committee member will tabulate the vote
  5. The Voting Committee will verify that the total vote count matches the number of votes cast
  6. The Voting Committee will then determine the percentage of the vote (percentage in the affirmative).
  7. The three Voting Committee members, involved in the count, will then sign the tabulation sheet and the sheet will be handed to the Overseeing Elder.
  8. The Voting Committee will then report the results to the congregation
  9. The overseeing Elder will report the results to any Elder who is not present at the time the vote is revealed.

 


 

Absentee Voting:

 

Because the selection of a new pastor is a very important issue for the IBCB family, the Elders would like to make every opportunity for members to cast a vote. Knowing that many members often travel, or because of other obligations, they might not be present on the regular voting day (21 January, 2018). Therefore there is a provision for voting absentee.

 

On two Sundays prior to the vote, 7 January, 2018, and 14 January, 2018, following each of the regular services, anyone who will not be present on the day of regular voting (21 January) will have the opportunity to vote. They can ask an elder for a ballot and envelope which can be voted and returned to the Elder for presentation on the day of voting. This ballot will be added to the regular vote count as described above.

 

The member must follow the same process of marking the ballot, folding the ballot, inserting and sealing the envelope, printing and signing their name to the ballot. The Elder who receives the envelope should ensure that the envelope is sealed, and that the name is properly on the face of the envelope.

 

Absentee ballots will be held for safe keeping in the cash box and given to the Overseeing Elder on the Voting Committee the day of the vote.

 

Conclusion:

 

From the IBCB Constitution:

Special consideration for seeking a strong consensus should be sought for the … Appointment of pastor(s).

 

The Elders have determined a number for “seeking a strong consesus” from the congregation on the issue of pastoral appointment. We believe a minimum of 75% of the voting body of the church must be in agreement with the nomination put forth to the congregation in order for a call to be made to the pastoral candidate. Therefore, if this threshold is not met, the elders will withdraw said nomination and seek the involvement of the congregation in forming a new pastoral search committee.