Last year’s General Assembly passed a motion that would require a particular church to gather a quorum of at least 50 percent of its members in order to make a decision to leave the denomination. However, the motion failed to receive the needed approval of two-thirds of the presbyteries.

This year, Evangel and Eastern Canada presbyteries have submitted overtures (10 and 12) recommending a related motion. They propose that the language in BCO 25-11 be modified to require a church to give to its members at least 30 days’ notice of a meeting to consider withdrawing from the PCA.

“It’s a softer approach to dealing with this issue,” explains Ruling Elder John Pickering of Red Mountain Church in Birmingham, Alabama. “Churches ought to be free to leave. But they ought to do so having made a carefully thought-out decision, not a hasty decision.”

According to Teaching Elder Kyle Hackman of Christ Church Toronto, there was at least one instance in the recent past where members of a church said they didn’t know about such a meeting.

“To my knowledge, I don’t know that this overture would have changed anyone leaving the PCA,” says Hackman, “but there should be more wisdom and time to think about things before leaving the denomination.”