Church Council Restructuring

The Administrative Council has studied and planned for several months for a transition to a smaller Council of seven to nine members that will meet less frequently in order to be more focused and productive.

At the Administrative Council meeting in May, the present Council approved the concept and implementation of moving to a smaller, more streamlined Church Council. The pastors, current chair Ralph Foley, and our lay leader, Rick McQueen were appointed to nominate and recruit council members.

At the July 30 Administrative Council meeting, the following persons were appointed to the new church council. They will be introduced and recommended to the congregation for affirmation and support in the August 19 Sunday service:

Pete Foley, Chair                                     Linda Wakefield

Rick McQueen, Lay Leader              Steve Boyer

Susie Lee                                                     Dan Moore

Ralph Foley, Recent Past Chair     Mark & Becky Suter, Pastors

The roles and expectations of the Church Council are:

  • Spiritual and administrative leadership
  • Decision-making
  • Articulate and communicate the mission and vision
  • Represent and speak on behalf of the church at large
  • Establish and monitor church policies and procedures
  • Establish a financial budget, spending priorities, and financial oversight
  • Staff-Parish/Human Resources responsibilities
  • Delegate and organize task groups and work teams as needed
  • Provide accountability and support for pastors
  • Ensure and provide for effective communication throughout the church

Please make every effort to be in attendance in worship on August 19 so that we may affirm and encourage these who are stepping up to these most significant responsibilities in leadership.

Feel free to direct any questions or discussion to Pete Foley, Rick McQueen, or Pastor Mark.

There are several reasons for restructuring at the administrative level.

  1. It has become more and more difficult to recruit volunteer leaders to serve in administrative and decision-making roles. Committee attendance, function, and follow-through have become a challenge at best and absent at worst.
  2. Churches, like any other organization or enterprise, are finding that the structures and methods of the past are not effective or meaningful in today’s world. What may have worked in earlier decades will not carry us into the future.
  3. Some persons have been serving in roles that overlap or are redundant. For example, most members of the Finance Committee were also members of the Administrative Council.
  4. Most decisions and most of the ministry across the church does not happen at the Council level. The role of the church council has to do with our overall mission and direction of the church as a whole.
  5. A smaller, more cohesive council can be more effective and responsive in supporting and resourcing the many talented servants and ongoing ministries and programs in our church.
  6. A smaller council can communicate and coordinate more efficiently and respond to issues and concerns more quickly.
  7. A smaller council can be more accountable to each other within the council and responsive to needs and situations within the church.
  8. The new council plans to meet quarterly, but a smaller council can more easily meet additionally as needed or for a brief meeting on Sundays.

A few clarifications may be helpful.

  • The purpose of the council is to lead the church in fulfilling the mission of the church, not to control the church. The end goal of restructuring is to free up and unleash more people for more ministry and service.
  • This transition will not affect most current committees and ministry teams and functions such as Trustees, missions, music, youth, children, daycare and others, as well as numerous short-term teams and projects along the way.
  • The council will make every effort, and use all available means, to facilitate good communication and make information available.
  • As always, the council will engage the church at large on issues and decisions that affect the entire church.
  • A smaller council membership means that more, not fewer, volunteers and leaders will be needed. The goal is to have more people in ministries with people than attending committee meetings. While both ministries and meetings are needed, our purpose is to serve, evangelize, and be with people.
  • A plan will be established for election and rotation of new council members before 2020.