There are many Bible verses that speak to a plurality of leadership: Acts 14:23--Paul and Barnabas appoint "elders in every church", Titus 1:5--Titus is to appoint elders in every town. In fact, a quick internet search will list numerous discussions. I found “Who Should Run the Church? A Case for the Plurality of Elders” helpful.
Faith Christian Community has been an elder led church since its’ beginning. However, in practice, we haven’t operated that way. And, the bylaws are a little confusing concerning governance. That’s why we believe it’s time to clarify and revise the bylaws, and try our best to share with you how we envision it going forward.
We will continue to be an elder led church, which means a plurality of leadership. However, we will change how staff elders, or pastors, the term most often used, fit into the elder team. The change is simple, as with the larger body of elders working as a plurality of leaders, we want the staff elders/pastors to also work together as a plurality of leaders. We believe this provides the best possible environment for accountability and balance.
The idea is that within the elder team as a whole, a subgroup of elders will be our staff elders/pastors. I keep using the term staff elder because I want to drive home the point that we will no longer have a lead or senior pastor. I’ll switch to using pastor now, but don’t forget! The sub group of pastors will be called the staff leadership team (SaLT). They will speak within the elders as one voice and will fill the role normally associated with a lead/senior pastor. So, if they don’t agree on something they want to bring to the elders, they’ll have to work it out between themselves first. And, although the Pastor of Vision will have the responsibility to develop messages or sermon series, the other two pastors will also teach on a regular basis.
The SaLT, will be made up of no more than three pastors, each with a distinct role. This is our goal, not our starting place. We’re currently not in a place to hire three pastors. Our plan is to seek both the Pastor of Vision and the Pastor of Ministries, and then hire the person Christ brings to us first. From there, we’ll either seek the other of the two, or with our new pastor taking the lead, hire a worship pastor/leader.
Just because we’re starting with one or two pastors doesn’t mean we put other needs on hold. Until we’re able to reach our goal of three pastors, the elders, Randy Gunther (Ministry Leader Operations) and many of you will continue to step into the gap. It will probably look something like this at first, with overlapping or duel responsibilities.
Let me know what you think. God bless you!
Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith. Galatians 6:10
Published on March 25, 2017 @ 2:57 PM AKDT