When most people think about church, very few think of words like governance, staffing, and organizational health. However, the question of how a congregation is organized and governed is critical for leaders who want to have the most impact they can through their ministry.
Moses knew it (Exodus 18). King Solomon knew it (1 Kings 4). So did Peter and the disciples (Acts 6). For churches to function in healthy alignment with God’s mission for them, leaders need to focus resources, delegate authority, and have intentional systems of accountability.
Five basic organizational components of congregations are:
- The congregation
- The board (council, session, consistory, etc.)
- The pastor(s)
- The staff
- The ministries and commissions (committees, ministry teams, etc.)
Ultimately, each component needs to be accountable to God’s mission for your congregation.
So, here is the key question: Does your mission drive how your church is organized? Or, does how you are organized drive your mission?
To effectively address this question, leaders need to have a clear and proper understanding of the purpose and authority of each of these components as well as how each relates to the others. The capacity of your congregation to live into your mission and vision depends on it.
For example, we regularly work with congregations whose top-down models give too much decision-making power to the Senior Pastor. A key question for them is whether the mission belongs more to the Pastor than it does to the people of the congregation.
I have also worked with congregations who keep hiring people for staff positions that have existed for decades. Instead of evaluating whether resources could be focused elsewhere to more effectively align with their mission, they keep hiring for the same positions simply because they have always done it that way.
With so many competing demands and expectations on leaders, it can be a challenge to focus time and energy on addressing organizational health. The Joshua Group would love to help. Please give us a call if you would like to talk about how we can help your congregation fulfill its purpose.
Author: Rev. Jim Weckwerth | Consultant | email@example.com