In 2017 we are planning to make a significant change in the way we handle church business here at First United Methodist Church. I want to spend some time in the next few weeks making sure everyone feels comfortable with what we are doing.
During our Sept. 22 charge conference, we will be voting to move to a Single Board Model of church governance. This is something that some of the churches in our conference and other churches throughout our denomination have moved to over the last few years. I have been talking about this move with our Church Council and the other administrative committees for roughly a year now. The church leadership overwhelmingly supports this move. When we have voted for this change, the new model will become effective January 1, 2017.
In this brief explanation, I will try to pass along the key elements of this new model for leadership. I will be happy to talk with any of you about it if you would like more information. We will be voting at our charge conference to shift from the former United Methodist Church’s structure that includes an Administrative Council, Finance Committee, Board of Trustees, and a PPR Committee, to the new “Single Board” alternative structure comprised of eleven members. These members have been nominated by the existing Lay Leadership and Nominations committee. The Board will be comprised of a Chairperson, Recording Secretary, the Lay Leader, the Lay Delegate to Annual Conference, the Pastor and six persons elected to serve in three year terms. This year we will elect two to a class of 2017, two to 2018, and two to 2019. Each year the openings on this Board will be nominated by Lay Leadership and Nominations. This Single Board will oversee all of the administrative decisions of the church. The Lay Leadership and Nominations Committee will continue to function as it has in the past. This model frees up people to serve in ministry positions in the church. We will also vote at charge conference for the leaders of those ministry areas.
I think the way to best lay out how this new model will function is to give you some key areas of responsibilities and where they will fall in the new model.
Leadership Board Purpose
- Utilize a leadership style that combines accountability, responsibility and authority
- Reduce micro management
- Synchronize and align all the church’s ministries with the mission, vision, and goals of the church
- Reduce the number of people engaged in administration and free up resources (time, gifts, talents, etc…) for hands-on ministry and engagement in the mission field
- Empower the pastor to lead
Leadership Board Responsibilities
- Establish the church’s yearly budget
- Confirm the vision cast by the pastor and establish yearly goals for the church
- Work in partnership with programs and ministries to ensure they fulfill the mission and vision of the church
- Work with the District Superintendent to hold the pastor accountable
- This team is not responsible for hearing reports. Other avenues for communication (bulletins, email, Facebook, newsletters, Town Hall meetings, etc…) within the congregation must be efficiently employed.
- Cast the church’s vision
- Hire, supervise, assess (and if needed, terminate) both paid and unpaid staff
- Hold staff (paid and unpaid) accountable for leading their ministry areas and fulfilling the mission and vision of the church
- Monitor the accomplishment of church goals and make adjustments as required to ensure achievement of those goals
- Equip present leaders and raise up new leaders for the work of ministry
Guidelines to Ensure the Alternative Structure’s Success
- We will designate members of the Leadership Board to serve as liaisons between the Leadership Board and each various ministry team or group within the church. (for example: Nurture Team, Witness Team, Outreach Team, etc…)
- This promotes communication and allows for avenues of evaluation and decision making.
- NOTE: THE LIAISON IS NOT EXPECTED TO BECOME AN ACTIVE PART OF THAT ARM OF THE CHURCH, BUT SIMPLY TO PROVIDE A BRIDGE FOR CONNECTEDNESS.
- The Leadership Board will meet monthly in the beginning of this structural shift to monitor goals, mission, and vision (and to counteract miscommunications) until church business has been effectively streamlined.
- The Leadership Board will conduct 2-4 Town Hall meetings a year or issue a “State of the Church” report in conjunction with the annual Charge Conference.
- When making significant decisions for the entire congregation, the Leadership Board may solicit input from the congregation.
- It is recommended that the Leadership Board members rotate off after their term, to eliminate small circles of power and promote the development of new leaders.
- It is highly recommended that in the fall of each year, all groups and teams within the church draft their budget requests for the following year, along with 3 goals for the new year.
- Including an explanation of how those goals fit the overall mission and vision of the church and a report on how goals were accomplished the previous year.
Yours in Christ, Pastor Curtis Matthys