Who is in charge at Faith Community Church?
Welcome to the Executive Pastor Blog at FCCH. This week: Who’s In Charge? And because it’s the Executive Pastor’s blog, it’s not going to be sexy. I’m just sayin’…I’m the nuts and bolts sort of guy on the team, so don’t expect anything controversial or radical. But I live with the illusion (delusion) that a handful of folks (e.g. the”Bookkeepers for Jesus” club in Attawan) want to read the mundane things of which I write…
Remember in elementary “Sunday School” (note: that language is so last millennium!) when “Jesus!” was always the right answer? Well, our prayer is that this is the Lord’s Church and we are directed by the Holy Spirit. But, where two or more are gathered, there’s usually a human organization as well. Here is what the FCCH Bylaws say, and then I’ll translate it:
Faith Community Church is an Elder-led, Ministry Council-run church. As such, the basic governing structure comprises the Board of Elders (the keepers of the vision and the spiritual overseers of the church) and the Ministry Council (the people who oversee and/or coordinate the various ministries of the church). The Board of Elders is directly responsible for and accountable to God in fulfilling His call on the church and in serving the congregation. To do so, the Board provides strategic oversight, guidance, and counsel to the Ministry Council, through the Senior Pastor. The Senior Pastor is accountable to God and the Board of Elders to fulfill his responsibility for all administrative and operational duties and responsibilities of the church. The Senior Pastor is vested with the authority commensurate with, and essential to, the administrative and operational responsibilities levied upon him. The Bylaws are not meant to address the details of ministry operations, nor meant to prescribe how to “do ministry.” The lack of detail is intentional. Such detail in implementation is left to the Senior Pastor and Ministry Council. The Board of Elders, however, may from time to time identify specific objectives and/or restraints to guide the Senior Pastor and Ministry Council in their day-to-day operations.
So, there you have it. And you can stop reading now. Bye.
Oh, you’re still here. OK, I’ll translate from ByLawseese to my dialect of Sorta English:
You basically have three governing entities:
Elders, Senior Pastor, Ministry Council.
The top dudes (includes women…dudesses?) are the Elders elected by the congregation. They are the ones ultimately responsible to the State of Massachusetts and YOU: the members (and, as noted above, GOD!). The senior pastor — now called “Lead Pastor” (it’s more hip) — is an Elder as well.
Then comes the (Executive) Ministry Council (EMC — not EMC2, a company down the road). The “Executive” part was added to connote that the EMC is tops among any other MCs out there in FCCH land.
So, when I say “top” I really mean “bottom” since Jesus saw power that way: that the tops are really the bottoms, and the bottoms are really the tops. But I don’t recommend wearing your clothes that way. It’s more a power and status thing.
What about Pastors? Pastors are ordained by the Church to do various pastoral duties: preach, teach, visit the poor, administer the ordinances (sacraments), do pastoral care and know how to pronounce exegesis (person in the Church to me: “How come pastors keep talking about Extra Jesus?” — true story).
So, think of it like a bow tie: the Elders are one side of the tie and EMC is the other side of the tie, and the Senior Pastor is the knot in the middle: the Elders give guidance and overall strategic direction to the Senior Pastor (who is also an Elder) who then leads and directs the work of the EMC to carry out the mission, vision, purpose and lunch plans for the Church.
And the Executive Pastor? I’m some scrunched up material near the knot on the EMC side of things.
Next week…the results of the November 18 FCCH Congregational Feedback Forum!