Freed to live through the death of another.

A Statement on the Voting Age of Members

Things have been really busy at GFC lately… but busy with all the best things! We’re church planting, running a ministry for local pastors, preparing for a conference we’re putting on, in addition to doing all the normal day-to-day things of an active, healthy church. Our Lord has blessed us abundantly with things to do, so we just try to keep up!

This past Sunday we had one of our quarterly members’ meetings. As always, the members’ meeting was full of great things to give praise to God for. We had tremendous unity, we’ve been blessed with new office space that we’re loving, we’re in the process of evaluating a man for eldership as well as two men for the office of deacon, and many other things.

One of the items on the agenda that I found particularly interesting was this: We were asked to formulate a position statement as to whether or not there would be an age requirement for voting on business items at church members’ meetings.¬†

In other words, should the Lord save an 8 year-old, and if they were to become a member of the church, would they be able to vote on budget or policy issues?

I’ve uploaded a-statement-on-the-voting-age-of-members¬†that we elders drafted. Do you have any thoughts or different conclusions?

3 Comments

  1. derifter

    I think on the whole it sounds like you came to the right conclusion. The process that leads to membership (I’m thinking especially of the review by the elders) would probably make an age requirement redundant. If God were to save a child at a young age and grant them amazing discernment or an incredible gift of wisdom or what-not, that would hopefully be apparent to the elders, thereby meeting the membership requirements and being a member, then, the child would be eligible to vote.

    By not adding an age requirement that seemingly isn’t needed, you also leave the door open to God surprising you through a child.

    And in the end, you’re talking about voting. If there is a concern that a young person holds there is nothing at all to keep them from bringing those concerns to staff or the laity, who should give it all the importance it deserves, including a vote if necessary.

  2. James Shelley

    Interesting discussion. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of age segregation in church communities. Do I understand from your statement correctly that children will be considered for membership simply on a case-by-case basis?

  3. Julian Freeman

    Derifter,

    Always great to hear from you, brother. I especially enjoyed your comment on the ‘ants’ post. I got quite a chuckle out of that. Thanks for your input here as well!

    James,

    Great to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by!

    I think what we’re trying to say is that we want to evaluate a child’s application for membership the same way we would anyone else’s. We begin by examining conversion, baptism, etc. If the person is a believer, then regardless of age, status, capability, etc., we want them to be a full-fledged member of the community. Since commitment to Christ is the key factor there, then we examine children the same way we do with adults–it’s always on a case-by-case basis. I don’t know if I’m answering your question or not…?

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