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Ignite Your Church - Part 10: The Church Board

Kameron DeVasher

Presenter

Kameron DeVasher

Director of Sabbath School & Personal Ministries, Michigan Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church

Sponsor

Conference

Recorded

  • June 21, 2019
    8:45 AM
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Dear Abby Father thank you so much for the opportunity to do your work as Colet Bers with you please lord now in this time help us to understand the structure of the Body of Christ the church help us to understand our part it help us to understand how it should run most efficiently and effectively and how we can be part of making that happen so bless our time together bless all that we study and bless everyone here in the churches we represent for prayed in Jesus' name amen. The title of our presentation today here we have a couple of volunteers think it is the church board and cleverly in the title we struck through b o r e d and want to emphasize b o r a d b o o a r d right it is so clever it is so clever now but the title if we just left at the church board it does sound boring I mean I don't know how many of you have fond memories of good board meetings. But it seems laughable right nobody says a bad game or the time we're all together the board that was fantastic was grade it was that you just reminisce about the old no right and I mean board meetings for a lot of people feel like this necessary evil it feels like you know like a good emergency dental thing you have to do it but you know it's going to hurt or something like that and it doesn't need to be that way so what should the church board look like how should it function and how can we make it better is the purpose of what we're doing today again there's a hand out called the church board that everyone should get if you come in here let's start with a little bit of a wide angle lens and focus it down in 1st of all the church is the Body of Christ and I think we mentioned this another one the other day but accepted to when those 3000 souls were baptized the Bible makes it clear they were not baptized merely into Jesus. It says and that day $3000.00 souls were added to whom to them to the church right and the Bible uses this analogy over and over that the church is the Body of Christ right and we sometimes want to separate the head which is Christ the head of the church with Christ from the body here on the earth and just have just a connection with the head and that's it but Christ never ever in the Bible separates our religious life into there's your spiritual life with him and then there's this optional other thing that you connect with the church it all goes together as one body does. For instance for as the body it says here 1st Corinthians Chapter 12 is one and has many members but all the members of that one body being many are one body so also is Christ 4 in fact the body is not one member but many so you have a single body made up of many members and already by just using the analogy of the metaphor of the body it implies organization in order right like you are not just a collection of parts they have to be working together like you can have great eyesight but if you don't have a liver. Those eyes are going to do you any good right they have to be working together in a harmonious orderly fashion for the body to do its work effectively So it's not even a random assemblages of parts loosely so it has to be woven together in organization that's I love the in the analogy of the body because it are medically moves us towards a picture of how the church is supposed to work and again 1st Corinthians Chapter 142 chapters later speaking of this the apostle Paul says Let all things to be done how decently and in order order structure organization is not the enemy of spirituality. It is not unspiritual to be organized in fact I would go the other way with it now I all tell you I had a encounter with an associate of mine one time we are working together at the same church and I for one like a sermon on a calendar I like to lay out is it best I can a full year of what I'm going to be preaching about I like to have a quarterly theme I like to have series I like I like a Leads to be there for c I think people think that way even the phrase Like I say I hear people I catch myself say it let's think logically. How else can you think thinking is by definition logical We're built to want to see a lead to be there for c that's how we're wired right so putting together sermons or for leading people to the truth to look at our Vangelis to campaign is the reason we don't preach mark of the beast on night one but you open with this which leads to this that way when you get to vapid like oh yeah that makes sense I am convinced that it's true we want to convince people a month so I like to lattice around a calendar and the associate of mine was very stressed about that he did not like that because he said you're not leaving any room for the Holy Spirit to do his work the implication in I said well what do you do for you so I just wait to the week when I'm preaching and I just pray and I just wait for the Holy Spirit to lead me to something and that sounds really really good it sounds pious it sounds and it probably was sincere in that doubting his motive but my counter thought to that is because it makes me feel like oh you're just relying on human mechanisms instead of the Holy Spirit meant I am the unspiritual in the room makes you feel like that right until I was like wait a minute let me think about that if the Holy Spirit's going to lead you that week before the sermon could we lead you to weeks before the sermon 3 weeks maybe 6 months. In the same Holy Spirit you can show up and call an audible at the line on Sabbath morning the same one that could lead me in December to know what I'm going to be preaching in March and I like that order I like the fact that. Another pastor I work with preached over a year from the Gospel of John every single sermon Oh I love the got the good stuff but the 65 other books right and so it helps you some I'm not really talking much from on account of I'm giving an illustration of order it helps keep me off of hobby horses and just prone to the same things I like you know I got to go through steps across the God of the life of Christ we also got to prophecy and there are many simple tests in history and some administers got it and you don't write it down you know a man with 3 years you never talk about the life of Christ we're always doing this so it helps right and plus if you do order and structure and then the Holy Spirit or some circumstance says you know we need to talk about this you can put your plan to the side and say Aren't we're to follow your lead but I'd much rather have a plan prepared that he can override than to be unprepared and just presume that he's going to lead I believe that's the distinction between faith and presumption right faith works presumption is not what the Bible calls for Ok anyway so the same thing is true in the order an organization of the church body that it takes intentionality it takes setting an agenda having a structure and plan but that is not evidence of a lack of spirituality it actually is working according to the Bible inspired prophecy Council So listen to the statement here Ellen White writing in early writings page 97 this is when the church organization was starting in the 7th Day Adventist Church and there was a great debate I mean there were even people saying the minute you take a name at all you become Babylon. But then you have all these selfs it ministers preaching different things money was going to different places people are overfunded underfunded churches were being bought by people who were converted but that not given to the church body and when they fell into apostasy they take the church and turn into a bar I mean it was a mass this isn't a seal of God on this order she wrote formality should be shunned right just doing things out of rote cold Sarah that's not what we want formality should be done but in so doing order should not be neglected there is order in heaven there was order in the church when Christ was upon the earth and after his departure order was strictly observed among his apostles and now in these last days while God is bringing his children into the unity of faith there is more real meat of order than ever before for is God unites us children Satan and his evil angels are very busy to prevent this unity and to destroy it Satan does not like a unified body of Christ all working together and he's done a marvelous job of thinking that fracture and independent spirit is actually spiritually led by I do believe that it is led by a spirit I'm just not sure it's led by the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit brings people into unity harmony one body with many members Ok with that in mind though only some in the church hold leadership positions every member is called to serve. This is from effusions chapter 4 some of you may have heard my presentation of this before but if so you get the blessing of hearing it twice. Where the Apostle Paul is talking about this order in the church and responsibilities of church leaders specifically writes and he himself that is the both Has there are capitalizes is talking about Jesus Christ he is referring to and He Himself Jesus gave some to be apostles some prophets some evangelists and some pastors and teachers now just pause right there that adjective some indicates that in the body of Christ are all people called the pastors and leaders and evangelists administrators that kind of thing no but are some cult Yes though there is a place for it but is it most no Most aren't but some are. Ok so already though we're all part of the body there are some that have specific responsibilities that others are not weighted with Ok some now what are these for and that is that he would have a King James Bible with him I could you look up the feet in chapter 4 verse 12 what is the purpose of these some people in spiritual responsibilities of apostle and. Evangelist I what was a list pastors and teachers all these spiritual sponsibility in if each and chapter 4 verse 12 from the King James Version and while he's looking that up please no this will not devolve into a debate. On Bible translations I will not allow it. I having said that some have it I think I saw you 1st what you can you read with the preaching voice. And now I want you to read it as the punctuation demands Ok go ahead. Comma right Ok I'm just making sure everybody has a comma point and the body writes All right how many jobs how many responsibilities do the sum have according to this passage 3 What was the 1st one perfecting the Saints right now what's their next responsibility do the work of the ministry and the 3rd responsibility edified about to cry so help make all the saints better nurture build them up and then they also need to do the work of ministry and finally to edify that is in large grow build up the church body itself grow the church so perfect the people do the work of ministry grow the church that's what pastors do and as I am in that's a good pastor we had a pastor come here would help make me better would do all the work of ministry and as a result he would grow the church Amen Now the difficulty with that is. Look at the New King James version that's the one that's written here and you might have your Bible as well but it says. For the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry Kama for the edifying the body of Christ now many jobs are there too for the edifying of the for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry why are you working with the Saints to give them to do the work of ministry the best rendering of this one particular verse in all the Bible is actually from the New International Version I know it hurts to equip his people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up one job to invest in the people so that we're all doing the work ministry and as a result the church body grows now you can go back and study feast in chapter 4 the way you don't just pick of translation based on the one that suits my personal tastes you don't do that beget 3 different options here what you do is look at what was the context you read the whole thing he was talking about if you look on a verse 16 he talks about how every part doesn't share causes the growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love Clearly his goal is to get this idea that the purpose of church leadership is to get everyone involved so you have total member involvement and as a result the church will grow that's the reason we have church leadership that's the reason we have structure and some positions of responsibility isn't to do the work and take over the work and be a secret society that does a bottom is Eve Their purpose is to plan the work and to engage every member in total member involvement the result being a growing church. So when we look at the church structure and the board and the business meeting and the nominating committee all the different structures there we have to keep in mind that the ultimate objective is training and equipping every member and deploying them in service of the church will grow that's the objective from the Bible Ok I like how Paul puts it here in 1st Corinthians Chapter 12 again going back to the body analogy he writes but now indeed there are many members yet one body and the I cannot say to the hand I have no need of you nor again the head to the feet I have no need of you know much rather those members of the body which seem to be weaker are what's the word necessary now he always goes by the the head the eye of the hand the foot you know those are like the big ticket to get a lot of ink in the press for kind of parts of the body but again we still need livers and we still need internal organs and capillaries and sin after we know those little all of it working together is not just optional it's not just encouraged it's necessary for the body to function right so Paul clearly saw that their priority things like the head which is Christ the eyes and head but you need everyone even the weaker ones are necessary in order for the church to grow now let's talk local church organization one o one I wish I had handed this out because it a bit of fun discussion but you already looked ahead cheated the highest authority in the local church is all right let's do the other way the highest authority the church is not the pastor the head elder or even the church board the highest authority in the local church is the church in business session which is every member is a voting delicate making the biggest decisions there are things in the local church that the pastor and the elder in the church board cannot do according to our church man you are agreed upon constitution by laws. Can you name some of those please Ok approve the whole budget so they have to have a big picture view of the finances Also I would say that big expenditures need to go to the church business session like France it's a good way to because you have a business session then you have board then you have individual ministries in that kind of thing so one good way to look at those levels of authority is through the lens of money so for instance if you are going to have a $300000.00 expenditure can a department say hey Bill when lives ministry want to spend $300000.00. They can say that all they want but that's not getting off the ground right I would even challenge a church board can't go spend $300000.00 I know how big your money money pot is but I'm guessing that in any local church that's going to be a big capital campaign right we're talking new roof and parking lot kind of level kind of a you know that needs to go to a whole church business session but if you want to spend $3000.00 do you need to get the whole business session together to decide that you know you have the board again it depends on the size of your church right how about $300.00 What if you called a business meeting every time you want to spend $300.00. Oh my goodness you know every 3rd Tuesday is going to be another business and you can't do that right so a good way to look at this is what you should have are spending limits a how each department can spend up to this without even have to call a board meeting and a board meeting has been this much without having to call a business meeting right and there should be agree there should be an understanding of different levels of responsibility and finances are good way to look at that Ok now. Oh all the way by the way I've got a list of your major issues accepting or disciplining church members all church membership issues go to the whole family. Every noticed whenever you have a baptism Yes they do yeah. Well they've got a not a not a church leaders I don't know what's going on there but something was I was off of that and have but whenever you have a baptism the pastor almost jokingly say now we know we need to do a little bit of church business here this morning is there some but he's serious that there are 2 times the church meets in business session one is for especially called business meeting outside of the church hours right usually on a Sunday or something like that or Saturday nights you don't want to like talk about big contractual agreements financially and you know on the Sabbath hours it makes sense to do it on another time but the other time is when the worship service every Sabbath morning when the church is a symbol it is an essential church business session that's why you have certain things like baptisms and the acceptance of members and now usually the removal of members isn't done on the Sabbath morning unless your church is really really doing so I mean you technically could but man that would be an awkward Sabbath service. Because you want to do that tactfully and in the church not with this you know there's a time and place to do it right but accepting people in membership praise the Lord sad morning come on in. Also can you think of anything else that happens Sabbath morning you have membership transfers right 1st and 2nd reading you can vote that's a business session what else thank you nominating committee report you have a 1st and 2nd reading for that right and that the reason you're doing that you could do it especially called business meeting but most churches do it in the regular worship service you pass out the report read through for a week of any questions concerns call the nominee committee and address it but by the next Sabbath we should be right and move on this right if you have a comment or question. Maybe dedications are not an official action so you can do that you can do it on a Tuesday if you want to but you want people there so it's nice to do it at church but maybe dedications are not we're not a Catholic church so that's not a membership issue when a baby we're just having a special time of prayer and dedicating them and especially the family to the Lord as a baby to know what's going on. Well as they're older and that's awkward to get your teenage son up there like Mom we could've done this 15 years ago. Anyway. But major issues again accepting or displaying church members opening or closing a church school significant financial commitment those kind of things are for the church and business session the church manual recommends you have how many church business sessions every year the answer is at least one most churches will have one or 2 but having 3 or 4 you know you don't have a quarter any you might do that and it's getting pretty rare but usually one or 2 a year for a church business session usually at the big picture items for the year or if you especially call them for a special project or some special disciplinary as you call one but you have at least one a year maybe 2 and that's usually what most churches do so how does the church operate if you're not every decision is being made by the whole church and business session how do you operate your church where you have drum roll please the church board right the church board is in essence essentially a subcommittee of the church in business session with limited delegated authority. Does that was that whole sentence clear it's a subcommittee it acts on the behalf of it you can think of it as the executive committee of the church that means that the church gets together and says we don't want to decide every nickel and dime issue every structural every calendar item at it every time you need to make a decision don't call us together we trust you to represent us to make those decisions to a limited degree or not saying you can do anything you want with a church school and you can't spend all of our money you can't remove members you can't do all that kind of stuff right that still has to come to us big ticket items are still left but the daily stuff the ongoing care maintenance and growth issues of the church scheduling logistics that kind of thing that's what the board exists to do it acts as an extension of the church and business session so with that in mind please turn to the next page. With the exception of conference employed pastors because of course your pastor isn't elected by the local church and we should pause right here somebody or mention it but how does one decide who's on the church board nominee committee how does one choose who's on the nominee Committee. The church in business that is a reason we do this because they are impaneled to act on the church's behalf so you have to have the church authorizing them to do those things in their stead so you have to have the consent of the Governed you know him saying it's a very Republican mindset right that you have elected representatives who deliberate and decide for you and that means there's a process need to be a transparent full process to trust those elected individuals right so you have usually it's the selection committee you know who you. Know it's we laugh about this so much the nominate committee to nominate a nominee Committee. But what you do is that a church session you can do it right there in the in the church. I'm church morning on Saturday right please turn in you know say 5 names that you would trust to help choose the nominee Committee and the top 5 names there will go and select the nomic many and then you bring back and say this is the these are the representatives you have nominated to do your nominating do you give your consent to let them go do their work and I was like Yeah Ok and then they'll come back and so that's how the process starts the whole nominee committee process starts from pooling the whole church family and you go to the nominee committee and then they have the difficult task of going through all the positions in the church all the different departments all the different ministries and activities and saying based on previous history and current circumstance looking forward who for the next one or 2 years would do well in this position that's their whole job Ok And you know that and of course nominee committee meetings are supposed to be confidential. And if you violate that confidence you're off to nominate me immediately because you talk about things you talk about people there's a reason that's a closed door meeting because you have to talk about real things whether that rumors troop whatever it is where the tide has really come you don't want elders who don't return time that kind of thing you know you've got to do that by the way this also ties nicely into my little issue about pruning a church because every time you go to the nominating committee you have your church membership list that might be 300 people long but then you say all right who's the real people we can actually choose from because you know all 300 of you have to take off a certain 2 thirds of that aren't even right in the nominee can be you learn who's really part of the church right. And from that drastically reduced list you start saying Ok here's the people we have here's the positions we need to fill and the temptation is to say all right we've got x. me positions in x. many people let's start just drawing lines and filling in right I would plead with you don't do that prayerfully carefully deliberately look at those needs of the church and say look who is either currently doing as well or who could do this or who could move into this position what would be a good team to work this way 3 and another thing you can do it's not always popular but if there's say a committee that hasn't met in the last 2 years why would you put people on that committee just don't have it choose the things you're supposed to do and do them well but the people there to do that and they move on right and then you can bring it back to the church and before those new officers can go into action have to come back to the whole to the whole church family to be reviewed and approved right so notice the whole nominee committee process started from the whole family they delegated people to do the choosing and they say right now bring us a report and we'll either prove or we'll send it back for further work Ok and that's what happens we had an interesting scenario where they had. An account as a church when I was out a couple of years ago we brought forth our nominee Committee report and someone objected right there in the middle of the I object I will this is a fun Robert's Rules moment here we go as we need so we did is right there well not right in front of the people but behind the platform we empaneled the nominee committee members they were happy to be there that day so i could we all meet in the back row quick let's hear the brothers concern and in the meantime sister so and so could you lead us in a few songs they did a couple an impromptu song service for just a minute. He came back and said he said look I have an issue with and his concern was about the structure of I think the Pathfinders thing with leadership or whatever and he proved Ok and then I'm a committee listen we hear what you're saying thank you for that and after he left he said he had some valid points but we still think our original is what we're going to go with we're going to stick with the report we submitted so they came back out and said we've heard the concern and we submit to you still the original report Ok we took a vote passed unanimously. It was great. But that's how it's supposed to work is that the people choose their representatives and then trust those representatives with the work that they're been assigned. Oh I hear Ok now what you have a sample of here is a little thing I put together that I like a lot because one of the things I've been frustrated with in the past is how nominating reports are given to the church family and I know you like when are we getting to the church board it's coming all right but the church board is a function of the nominee and then the nominee committee and panels this church board work in understanding the structure helps you understand what the purpose of the board is Ok now in many churches especially in larger ones you'll have a multiple page report is handed out and it's just a black and white copy of a list of names and offices and whatnot and you say are here's this one over here now look on page 3 here's another office I have so it's kind of a scattered thing or you have like all the others a block here but then you have to ask how is this one on the board is this a board position and she always has a support position as a supporter probably why couldn't we have a simpler way to transmit or communicate this information so yes it has the office it has the name of the officer but also puts the structure in which that relates to the rest of the body in one document Ok so what we have here now it's obviously not printed this small it's just for these notes I would always put it sideways landscape on the page and if you need a copy of the notes I believe they're right up there in the front chair for the pastor family. Obviously to be bigger font so everybody can read it right but that was the challenge why can we create a document that has all of the officers all the department leaders and whatnot on one piece of paper on one side full color and it shows the flow of how they relate to each other then you can take it home and put on your fridge rater. Or you can post on a bulletin board every can see how the system works so in the green section up there at the top is the church business session where every church member is a voting delegate let me make a special appeal to you now it can't meaning go to your church business meetings you have incredible incredible responsibility and privilege in the church business meeting your voice carries because I can tell you what I'll give you an example is in and one of the church the pastor here in Michigan when I came there we called the piss is meeting and they had a Corum set of 40 people which makes sense though because if the church was basically was almost 400 members she said roughly 10 percent of the people should make the decisions Ok so will make the bar 40 well what happened was we had like 20 something there so we failed to meet quorum and we could have a business meeting and then at the meeting they told us you know this is the 4th time this has happened in a row is what this is the 4th business meaning they couldn't do any business because not enough people showed up so what we're into we are Johnny on the spot another Roberts Rules what we do about this situation because how because the irony is you need a church business meeting to set the Corum for church business meetings so if you can't get up what do you do well when's the next church business meeting we know people are going to be at the church service right but do you want to have that debate like Good Morning Friends. Not enough of you came we need to lower the bar happy 7 you know what he did what we did is in that on the day when the people that show up I say well how many board members do we have here board members usually show up to visit me so if that were impaneling we're switching from business to board so everyone else is dismissed or you can stick around to watch this in a closed session but we're going to do some work here and we said let's make as the board a recommending motion to the church family of lowering the core. But let's submit it to the church family the same way you would and nominating committee report let's do a 1st and 2nd reading so we don't have discussion on the floor we'll just make a note in the items of in the announcements you know by the way there's a recommendation a motion from the church board for your consideration and just did it like a nominee and if anybody has any questions please see the pastor the elders who made that decision and in May by the 2nd Sabbath we lower the core of the 25 from 40 then we call another business meeting and praise the Lord 26 people showed up. And we could have this new fangled thing called a budget he was glorious and we could start making decisions but it speaks of the fact that a church that church had 374 members and had 26 people show up to make all the decisions for everybody else your voice your vote has incredible weight at the church business me please please please show up to it Ok that's what it's there for anyway the green bar church business session the blue section there is the church board that is those impaneled by the church business session to do the work of the church in between business meetings right by the way the church is like a Russian Dall the 7 churches if you understand how the local church works then you know how the conference works and that's how the union works and that's how the General Conference works if their upcoming general conference session they're going to have a nominating committee and they're going to go back to and then they're going to bring a recommendation to the body it's the same thing it's just adding more zeroes right it's just a bigger amount but that's the same structure all the way up from top to bottom it's fastening. And the same thing you know we have a general conference session every how many years every 5 years does that mean that we only do church business on the General Conference level every 5 years no there is an executive committee they have and you'll Council which is a subgroup of that that meets and they make record recommendations and but on big picture items like adjustments the church manual fundamental beliefs those kind of things they can have the impact they can't do that they have to recommend to the church and business session which is the general conference session this is how it works all IP and down the line so once you understand the local church structure then you can say like I know why we have a nominee committee in our conference and we have a constituency session because the constituency session of a conference is just a church business meeting at a local church it's just a bigger version of it right anyway let's get going so the church board there and at the time I was pastor so I was the chair of that I would still recommend that I know that the church manual allows for and I know it seems counterintuitive for me of all people who has preached the need for less pastor dependency right but one of the roles that the pastor is supposed to function is as the leader and guiding voice of the local church so I would urge the pastor in this room not to abdicate your responsibility or your privilege of leading through the church board meeting Ok but you can't have you can delegate a proxy can have an elder to do that on your behalf but anyway and then you say all of the elders notice all of the elders are on the church board all the altar that's the only department where everybody in the department is representing the board these are the door ordained local leaders essentially the local lay pastors who help guide the direction of the church then we also had our lay advisor represented which is a conference representative you know for live you had the church clerk needs to be there then you have the head deacon notice not all deacons but the head deacon is there but when we get the head deacon underneath them you have all the deacons and the men's ministry department. Which the head deacon is there at the board meeting to represent their interests you know when you have the United Nations assemble to not only have the name of the person there but the country they represent I've literally thought about if we had a board meeting where you had the name of the person and say I don't remember your Deacon your dignity your job is to represent the children's ministries right you're not just here just for random wisdom we want you especially as it relates to this department I mean you can speak to all issues but you should be thinking mind how is men's ministry going to be impacted by this decision how is children How's the community service or whatever your thing is so you're bringing together not just individuals who just happen to be good leaders but they're there because they represent departments of church work so that makes sense Ok so the same thing with the head deacon this is underneath that you have all of the deaconesses and then also the hospitality leader the women's ministry leader the social committee the decorated all those things and so that's what their duties that's their ministries then he goes on to Sabbath school which of course underneath that has a subcommittee called The Sabbath school council I would urge you to have a Sabbath school council where the Sabbath school superintendent is the chair and you have all your secretaries your status quo treasures I teachers here all the divisions are represented there then you have children's ministry and on and on and on and on and on. Let me highlight personal ministries because when we're from the status quo person ministries apart we got to highlight that person ministries has its own committee the person ministries. Council which according to church manual is supposed to meet how often once a month and the pastor and person ministries leaders are on that it's basically a subcommittee of the board who whose number one priority an object is to recruit train equip and deploy all the members of the church in some form of service. So they should be meeting all the time but it's astonishing to me how many churches don't have Sabbath school councils don't have person ministries councils they don't have an endless a clinic it's all just kind of done willy nilly it's like Mark was talking about the other day when a church doesn't have a budget ever been to a church that doesn't have a budget Yeah this a request for money comes in like I don't know let's look and see if we have it in the bank that is going to but there's no plan you're not guiding it you know planning ahead you know structuring the things you just kind of as Mrs White would say you're just the sport of circumstances tossed to and fro with every wind of whatever right we don't need that you know plan and of course you have a church school there counties you have to come with your junior Cademy So you have the subcommittee of that or in many cases the church board we had a church committee in the school board of the church school committee you know the treasure and the principal all those people there and on and on and on it goes around so that the. Structure of the church hopefully is understood by the church and everyone can see oh I'm part of the men's ministry which is a my board representative is our head deacon and so you can see where your your part is in the church work that's the goal there are there any questions about this particular document. We haven't gotten to the church board we need to keep going with this but yes ma'am there's a communication here kid like. Yeah course you're absolutely if you look at the church manual it lists recommended people on the board and it's like I'm literally 30 or so different people but obviously it does have the qualifying statement there each church board will be determined on your own circumstance right so I would imagine but there isn't I wouldn't say all right we're done with the elders we're done in a Don't don't don't do that but you'll say do we even have a children's ministry department do we need a whole department for that or do we just have this b.b.s. or you can tweak it to your own situation but I'm just using this as an illustrated template Ok And yet isn't it kind of has he said Ok come from a tiny church 20 people Ok did we do that 23 on the books are 23 and 41 clocks. When it comes it's astonishing it always if you have a 100 people you have 4050 it's the same proportion all the way down but go ahead Art you're speaking to that tiny little church and honestly we're not a church here at Kake Ok so that now that's a big distinction because you're not a church certain things you can't do You can't go into a constituency you can't you can't have your constituency meetings you can elect I mean there's a lot of things that you can't do as a company that you could do as a church so that's an important things and so you're under at larger churches or technically you are a direct link to the conference right because the a church should say a conference is simply the assemblage a collection of all what they call the sisterhood of churches. So when there's a new baby church coming up right they take responsibility as the ultimate parent now they might delegate some of that to the local church nearby and say hey could you help this one grow up but there accountability is to the conference this is just a visual aid to help out so there's no official thing about this this is just a thing I made up on my computer because I wanted my brain death to see it right I thought I'd share that if you can absolutely write something out a flow chart if you will for your work in your local context but there are limitations in a company what you can decide you know because you don't and I can't speak to that authoritatively right now but I would definitely talk to your local conference Mr Director and say hey is a local top company what are our limitations and how much can we do to get closer to this church model because we want to act like a church in order to get to be a church you are anyone else all right let's move on to the agenda the work of the board now this is taken from the work of the board from the 2010 edition now I have 2 copies of the church man right here this is the 2010 edition which I'll just say is my 5 others call it my favorite edition but this one in my hand is the 2015 edition which I'll call it the current edition. Now we don't have time to hold have a whole diatribe about the church manual but there was a long time in 7 editors where there was no church manual it didn't come into existence until the 1930 s. it was assemblage of different working policies had been voted on and recommendations and basically best practices for how to govern and operate a local church the church manual is not only underlined this is not inspired it goes through regular revision by the church family we don't do that with the Bible or the spirit prophecy we don't say how many people are still in favor of Isaiah 40. I hereby know you can amend it this gets amended regularly Ok but that does not mean it should be discarded as just a mere No this is prayerfully put together this outlines again best practices and organizational agreements that the structure operates so that we're all together because the goal is to operate as one body right so I would recommend this as your starting point for good practices good ideas and aim toward it because this has been prayerfully decided by the whole world church how we should operate a local church right so I want it I don't want to elevate it to the status of inspired but I also don't want to discard it as just an option I want you to think about it prayerfully and consider how we can come in line with some of this recommend a lot of really good stuff in here now I read a highlight what we're about to read here from the 2010 edition big and then I'll show you the 2015 edition and there are some modifications from the work of the board from 2010 to 2015 Ok now everything in the 2010 is still included in the 2015 they've just expanded it a little bit so I want to start with a 2010 and then see how the expansion was added in 2015 or to get it together Ok here you will find this on page 126127 of the 2010 edition of the church manual this. The Gospel commission of Jesus makes what evangelism proclaiming the good news of the Gospel the primary function of the church are God's people said amen It is therefore also the primary function of the board which serves as the chief Committee of the church so if the whole church has one job which is to give the gospel to the world then the executive committee to actually put into practice those great principles which is the board that better be their primary function to write but somehow we think all we are all going to do Avengers but when you get the book churchwarden or talk of engines and that's a problem the church manual outlines that. When the board devotes its 1st interest and highest energies to what kind of evangelism every member evangelism most problems are alleviated or prevented and a strong positive influence is felt in the spiritual life and growth of members Ok so all of this by the way this isn't commentary this is all direct quotes from the church manual and then it outlines the recommended. Work of the board like the agenda. Item number one the most important item on the agenda should be planning the evangelisation of the outreach or missionary territory of the church now that should be way up I'm not I'm not saying as you do that before opening prayer or anything but clearly the biggest new business item you address needs to be the mission of the church Ok In addition once each quarter an entire meeting should be devoted to plans for evangelism Now let's pause and do a little bit of math how many months are there any year and how often is the board supposed to meet once every month so you can have 12 board meetings so how many board meetings are you going to have every quarter 3 Somebody said for I know the temptations as for what 4 quarters makes 3 meetings Ok Now he says in addition once each quarter an entire board meeting should be devoted to one agenda item which is that evangelism planning now how can you do that I can only think of 2 options number one you could take one of those 3 and make it your outreach planning with meeting so now you doing your once a quarter or as kind of inferred in the meeting in addition one should you could add another one but I can tell you that most churches don't make it the 1st item and I guarantee most churches don't have an entire meeting every quarter devoted pre-planned for vigils and. Because we've thought of the vandalism as an event that we're going to hire the battery of our family or someone else to do every 2 years and that will then we'll fundraise for it by the way by the way we don't allocate any money to it we just put up a big thermometer and raise money so we can pay off that it's not how it's supposed to work it's supposed to be the main item on the agenda and an entire meeting once a quarter devoted to plans for vigils and let's keep reading the board will study conference recommendations for evangelistic programs right there what does that imply at the conference that they're making some plans right that they have some recommendations that they have why do we have unlock revelation in Jesus on prophecy and Bible study offer and all these outreach things they're not just to have a big report it can't media consistory it's to give you tools in the local church to do your work well that's the whole point Ok so the board should look over those how are we going to do Bible study offer dot com How much money you want to put to it when are we going to do it as relates to Jesus' own prophecy and where is our territory how many people think about those things going to take a meeting Ok the pastor and the board will initiate and develop plans for public evangelists to campaigns so no to the subcommittee The supposed to work on of Angela's of is the board now you can subcommittee that out but I would recommend let it be the whole board working together that's number one number 2 coordinating outreach programs of departments pause right there what does that imply about the different departments of the church. They're all doing outreach but in their own sphere right children's ministry might be different the women's ministry might be different the community services my bitches in the local churches that's fine but each one has the expectation that they're doing some sort of outreach program and the board is not there to plan each one of them what's the word is used was the verb it starts with coordinating that makes sense though so how are they going to come up with those plans of the departments. That means the departments me to meet to make plans in their sphere how they're going to do outreach and then bring those to the board to make sure it doesn't step on the toes either logistically or personnel or financially of all the other coordinated things right so the church board is responsible for coordinating the work of all church departments each department develops its plan for outreach within its own sphere to avoid conflict in timing and competition in securing volunteers and to achieve maximum beneficial results coordination is essential before completing announcing plans for any program each department should submit its plans to the Board for approval but every department should have a plan and he should bring the board hey we want to do this thing and the porch as a logical questions how much they're going to cost when it's going to be how many people do you need and then by the way when it's done if you come back and say hey how did it go did it work was it it was it was a success was it a dumpster fire what was it you know should we do it again evaluate no problem and it says that here doesn't say dumpster fire but as I say. The board may suggest how Department programs can contribute to the. Oh I'm sorry we missed get to since the department's also report to the board on the progress and results of their outreach programs so before and after Keep the board apprised the board may suggest how Department programs can contribute the preparation conduct and follow up of a public of Angelus to campaign number 3 item on the agenda encouraging the personal ministries Department to enlist all members and children in some form of personal outreach missionary service you notice we're going down a funnel here there's the whole church evangelist Dick thrust number one the number 2 coordinating all the various departments and then making sure the person ministry is a good and every individual member doing their outreach right so there's a funnel that goes down to every member being a missionary that's the goal. Training classes should be conducted in various lines of outreach ministry Ms White makes the famous statement every church should be a training school for Christian workers and we've been told that many would be willing to work if they were 1st taught how to begin That's one of the expectations of the board are we training our people are we listening or recruiting are we deploying them for service number for encouraging the interest coordinator to ensure that every interest is personally and promptly followed up by an assigned lay person I love the interest coordinator I think Pastor Wes talked about this the other day but I like to joke that this is not the interesting coordinator their job isn't to make things lively and attractive right Their job is to follow up to be clear to make sure that follow up work is done for those new interests so if you're going to plant say your health ministries Department has a supper club and you have non admin is visitors and you make an appeal say hey by the way we have these other wonderful things have you heard about our Bible School Bible study offer and they get some new cards well what happens with those cards they don't just prayerfully get laid at the feet of the pastor they go to interest coordinator who should have a team of late members who are ready to follow hey this person lives 3 blocks from you can you follow up with Brother Bob here sure I'll take care that and they can they come back to the board and report on how our interests are going we had the Supper Club we got 3 new interest then we had the p.b.s. program 10 new interest and these were children's we're going to put it and you start talking about people ministering to people in our board meetings that's what it's for anyway. Let's see here by the way we haven't talked about money yet except for expenses for evangelism. Number 5 encouraging each department to report at least quarterly to the board and to members at business meetings or in Sabbath meetings so communicate with the church family at least to their representatives on the board if not in the Sabbath service which if you have a mission program as part of your Sabbath school it's a great way our department is doing this outreach Let's hear about it and by the way that's how we're supposed to help overcome Satan right by the blood of lamb and by the word of bear testimony we should be sharing these stories and it's encouragement to other peoples inspiring number 6 finally receiving regular ports the board should consider details of church business and receive regular ports of the treasure and the on the church's finances so you should talk about money last the Borgias study the membership record inquire into the spiritual standing of all members and provide for visits to sick discouraged and backslidden members you should not only be worried about the new members are coming interventions in but also be tending to those members who already are especially those who are sick or shut in those kind of things other officers should report periodic Lee Now that's to me was a really good list of 6 agenda items for a board meeting look at number 4 though this is the s.t.a. church manual 2015 edition. And I struggle with this and I'm just being transparent here but notice that one of the shifts that came in the most recent addition was that it could sound like an entire shift of the mission of the church because it says here the purpose of the church is the Body of Christ is to intentionally disciple whom members so they continue in an active in for relationship with Christ in a search. Center saying and I start now correctly understood a disciple is one who follows Jesus and is active in his service in his work to so they will be if you're following Jesus you can be working like Jesus right but you kind of have to explain it a little bit more I kind of like the other wording better but it continues. And I say put in here Christian service page 69 that the if you want to induce people to. What's the statement of I'm thinking of Christian service 69 where she says. The way the best way to keep people in growing spiritually is to be active in sharing their faith as a paraphrase very loosely right goes on to say discipleship if you'll notice that we're discipleship is all through the new and because it's the new buzzword but praise the Lord mission conference by God's leading develop this wonderful thing called the discipleship handbook just in time and now it's a general conference resource people say how do we do discipleship we have this wonderful resource that tells you not only is it personal devotional faithfulness but it's also usefulness in his cause that's what discipleship is Ok discipleship is based on an ongoing lifelong relationship with Jesus the believer kits to biting in Christ to being trained for faithful disciple of fruitful discipleship by sharing Jesus with others so I do like the training now is higher in the list so there's a pros and cons as well as to lead other members to also be faithful disciples the church individually and collectively shares responsibility for ensuring that every church member remains part of the Body of Christ and then goes on to outline the work of the board the board is responsible to now all the ones we just read one through 6 are in the new list but they are numbers for through 9 the added 3 new things at the top of the board and one thing at the end of the board the new number one is this and sure that there is an active ongoing discipleship plan in place which includes both spiritual nurture and outreach ministries so I like that outreach is still a function of that 1st item that's good this is the most important item for the church for the board's attention so notice that we folded nurture and outreach into the 1st thing where it was the last thing on the list was nurtures they're trying to make membership nurture and retention what is being dubbed often discipleship a bigger share of our thinking. Number 2 study membership listen initiate plans for reconnecting the reclaiming members who have separated from the church number 3 train local church leadership and I'm not trying to be funny here but I still wrestle with understanding the sentence I'm serious I don't quite get it number 3 train local church leadership in how to encourage intentional spiritual growth in themselves and others train someone how to encourage in yourself and. I think I get the spirit of what they're saying right but you can tell that in the writing of this there is a real sense of we're losing people we need to reclaim and retain that we need to like nurture what we have and kind of like shore up what we've got. But the best way to keep people actively engaged in the local church is put them into work in the mission field s. are. Ok. And the Praise the Lord there leave people looking at this and it's a work in progress so I'm not throwing this out of the bus and we're saying we're all human being and it is that right. Yeah. Exactly week we could have a clearer statement Amy But let's move on and I said numbers 4 thru 9 are the exact same word for word as the other ones Ok a 4th one through 6 in the 2010 edition right so 439 and then number 13 words promote administration Ok And so you can see that some of these things are responses to perceived needs and issues in local church we've written out of the work of the board and many of which are important correctives we know we shouldn't overlook the nurture and retention of our members and we should promote Adam's education but the question is could it be done a little bit more clearly and flow a little better I would think yes but anyway. Like number 5 here it says no other business fortunately both recent edition of the church manual concludes the work of a board section with the following statement quote The board should permit no other business to interfere with planning for evangelism should other business be too time consuming the board should appoint committees to care for specific areas of church business such as finance or church building projects such committees will then make recommendations to the board so if you have we're going to add this new portico to the big into the entryway we're going to revamp this or a building project or some other big capital improvement campaign the temptation will be to make that the all encompassing work of the board is specifically we as a denomination of voted officially do not let that happen if that takes too much time make a subcommittee let them deal with it make recommendations every now and then you give us reports thank you so much if you need us to vote we will but we've got to keep our eye on the work that's the goal here now let me hand out to you in a few minutes remaining a sample board meeting agenda this is for any town 7th Day Adventist Church what with these church board and manual recommendations look like if they are put into an actual agenda all of the things we just read those quotes from the church manual about the functions of the board what would it look like if you go back to a local church and said All right it's time to run our meeting how do we put all that into a simple agenda this is a sample again this is an uninspired document it's just a best try at taking those principles and putting them into practice so obviously the top you have your church name any town 7 church in the board meeting agenda it's good to have a date on there so you know when you met. And engine number one devotional and this one it's only 5 minutes now you can say a lot in 5 minutes. And I know there's a to and I'm not disparaging if anyone must have know we like to have a really dedicated time of prayer and Bible study before we you can do that no problem but just remember there's only so much time I'll say the same thing well kind of steal from our monotony section tomorrow afternoon but. I notice in our worship services we keep putting more and more elaborate and creative ways to do prayer and the worship service prayer praises and requests and gardens of prayer and come down from season to prayer and personal and support and now I'm not to get it to even say this is how I can't believe there's a pastor against prayer I'm all pro prayer but you know we have an entire meeting each week devoted to prayer let me ask you question why are we doing the worship service then because nobody's coming to prayer meeting but every once the benefits of prayer meeting let's put it in the worship service and the same thing with every special feature testimony of baptism or whatever the things put in the worship service anyway we might do the same thing with people or having our own devotional life or not going to church regular come to church while we need to when you start to spiritual You can start spiritual by saying friends we're here for a holy purpose the Bible tells us the where the body of Christ and we have a mission to let Barry has for what prayer now is getting to our agenda we're here for this purpose Ok season of prayer 5 Tim is no problem but love is the whole thing your 10 minutes max devotional prayer then review of the minutes from September so we still haven't gotten to really action item number one yet we're still just getting into the meeting here and it's proper to review the previous month's meetings a minute's make sure that they're in line and everything fall through nicely to review those for a couple minutes 5 minutes maybe and you hopefully approve those with little amendments if you need to and then number 4 on this one would be evangelism mission planning and knows the time allotment here is much more 25 minutes and inside of that you need to review the recent evangelistic series which implies that you've done a recent Angeles experienced. Report on discipleship progress those people have been coming in how we follow up on that and the new members how they doing right update on the spring Health Expo just for example right you might have some other evangelist things we're trying to get new Bible study interest through this how's that going as our funding for that coming House our scheduling house our personnel it all working out Ok plans for the next person ministries training when we're going to training people what are we going to training them in what is going to cover a person Ministry people talk all of that is the big item 1st on the agenda of the board and then you have your interest report on interest coordinator who's going to walk through all those new interest in how they're doing it shouldn't take more than 5 or 10 minutes their department reports Pathfinders commuter service or whoever wants to report now I would recommend because I've seen boards do this that everybody just goes around the circle and gives all the reports please don't do that it takes for ever what you can do is say pick a couple that you're going to highlight each board meeting and so that maybe once a quarter or once or whatever you get an opportunity but you don't need report every week because what ends up happening is we just have a big old conversation it takes for ever right so you want to highlight obviously if there's some emergence thing that they had a particular item they can request to have an item on the edge and we need proof for this what Ok that's fine but the regular reports is just here from the departments regularly but not everyone all the time. And of course you need to administrative reports the click support. Which of course the clerk takes care of all the church members and where there's transfers in and out and we need to recommend a 1st or 2nd reading for this or anything like that that's the church clerk takes care of that and the financial report the Finance Committee recommendations usually the treasurer of the Finance Committee chair will guide us through that will have a low finance report and say that we began the month here we begin end of the month here or things that were on trend for this and that's an important one because you want to make sure that just all of your ministry stuff inside of that budget or increased spending as you need but the budgets are a cooperated thing that we work together with. And just like money we shared time we shared well so number 8 is the church calendar review which is where you do all that coordinating not only the funds in the personnel but also the scheduling what if there's 2 really good events that want the same Saturday night of the same Sunday the same weekend Well you got to share or move the wanted every got kind of kind of be nimble and flex a little bit and build a calendar works for everybody at least best as possible then number 90 of the church business there are other things like the landscaping request of the Sabbath school park whatever the thing is right those other miscellaneous things and then closing prayer and adjournment I notice on this one that there isn't an other items just an open forum you can do that if you'd like but is not always the best practice because you know what happens somebody say I want to talk about this and you let on what's on the agenda so it would be wise to encourage if you have some specific item in NY to address please come see the board chair 1st and maybe we can work it out without even to go to meeting or I can refer you to this committee that does it but let's be very careful about the things we add on because we want to make sure we don't wear out the patience of the Saints on things that could be addressed otherwise brother Mark. Yes. Yes. Yes that is an option too so there's different ways you can do and they each has their pros and cons but just the goal is I don't know if you've ever been in those churches that has a 7 o'clock board meeting the still go until 11 o'clock at night I'm telling you look at this this is the the cooperative in the collective root canal we've all endured right don't do that and you can say well I'm not the chair on the thing but you could say like you know what I would recommend that we'd maybe adopt this model if we can move a little bit faster because you know what they're ending time here 830. Now if you the way I used to do it is say I'm an estimated time look at the items we have here and you should every meeting should be an hour like if you're having 25 minute board meeting something's wrong you should have enough to talk about but it doesn't need to spill over in that 2 hour time frame and go on right so that hour to an hour and a half is a good sweet spot to aim for so what I would say is I'm hoping for an hour and a half all allowed to go or open for an hour allowed to go an hour and a half but we will not go past that we're not going to or are not going to go to the 2 hour time to put limits and say this is where we're done and even if we're mid-sentence when we have that time it's less bad for word prayer were done but I think the board meeting shouldn't be so tedious and laborious they should be exciting you should be cooperating together for that mission focus that God has given to us Ok yes. Ok cool. Yeah. Yeah. Because there's people who are crazy. I'm not the only one saying people are crazy Come on everybody is room those people crazy right. Now but. I tell you this and I don't know exactly how to fix it but take a church business session right every member who's not under Church Discipline is a voting delegate to the church business session and there are plenty of people and you probably have seen the who do not come to anything else church at the Bill Shope the business session the the best way I think to defend against that is get the people who should be there to be there out vote on. Right but you can't have guards Let's see your attendance past you know you can't get in can't do that but the church board does a church manual does it imply kind of I don't know if he does more than apply it kind of expects that you're going to set a quorum of a certain number of people but you can't put qualifications on those people aside from there being church members now in the church board there are times when it's not only appropriate but it's necessary to go into executive session just like a nominating committee is an executive session the whole time because you're talking about individuals so if an issue comes up we have a concern in this area executive session is people when people who aren't on that body have to leave only the people either on the board or the nominee whatever the thing is have to be in the room for that one and no one else and they can't discuss those things outside of the meeting so it happens in the meeting stays in the me as one executive session is and so other that I've always practiced that a board is open unless we go into executive session for our for obvious reason right. There are other churches that practice a different thing like that I'm not aware of a statement a church manual that gives instruction one way or the other but I think it's kind of a common sense thing that everything the church does is open to everybody unless there's a reason for it not to be and that has to be based on people I don't know that helps Ok yes or. Ok. Should the. Church or or. Their church. Follow me. 16. Yes So. Start us. Those are relative terms large and small so what $3000.00 or one church might be pennies in another church you know I'm saying so it that's kind of a difficult one to put a rule so that's why I say in general terms large commitments of time personnel and money need to be made by the bigger body by the church and business session but the church board's primary function is the planning for evangelism So one of the things that we've encouraged I think Mark's probably going to speak to this is to put money like you talk about your church has those funds aside one of the things that really bugs the daylights out of me is when we have a big evangelist a campaign coming up and we put a thermometer you know a big fundraising thermometer either in the lobby or in the platform or something like this like this is the one thing we're called to do and we're out here like hat in hand trying to raise pennies to do it when we fund everything else you know so that I think the board can alleviate some of that by with some advance planning but when it comes to a large expenditure in principle a large body needs to make it but each church is going to have to say what that expense is brother Mark. Spending limits. And much like quorum with people for numbers I would imagine that highly recommend that departments can spend this much money without having a call bit board meeting and the board can spend this much without a business meeting the busy no have some guidelines say like oh we just went over the 3000 up this needs to go to this so it doesn't have to be like Well I think it's this important doesn't be qualitative it's it matched the threshold. By. Right the Fed or that. Of course that's what I'm saying you trust your department leaders to run their department but you say right here's your budget you can spend this much of it or within this type just make some common sense bending limits the state argument because we have. Then multiple times Ok Well we don't need to bring it to the church as you voted on the nominee and many voted for these people to make these decisions and you're not trusting them to make the decisions that you send it would depend on what these decisions are if for instance we cannot no matter how much we trust you you're not allowed to vote people in or out of church you know membership I don't care how much we trust you that's not your job and the same thing would be true in different areas financially we're the ones as a church business who have to vote the whole budget we're the ones who if we're going to do a capital renovation has to be on us right and so again that would come back to the spending limits thing especially in terms of money that's an easy $1.00 to fix just set limits and say it's past the threshold we've got to go here but big decisions already outline the church manual again discipline constituency structures you can't pull out of or get into an arrangement that the church business session being involved in it's in there certain things like if a board went say we just closed our church school icon No you do you want a panel to do that we call it a business you can't do that. Yes that. You know by before you know you. And. You know that it works. Out. Yeah it which by the way that's what the the beauty of the church meeting on the Sabbath morning isn't just to receive good spiritual information in a sermon or something the church should be a training school for Christian workers we should come together with the purpose of yes worshipping God but also getting equipped and trained prepared for the upcoming thing so there's no reason we couldn't have more training itself and vaca take place in the worship service there's nothing on spiritual That's their primary mission right you could also have a specially called church business meeting we need all hands on deck we want every one of you here we're going to have a have a pancake breakfast Sunday morning and have all the kids and then we're going to have this planning session afterwards you want to there's ways to do it right but your goal is to get everyone on board all right I hope there's no more questions because we're flat out of time but let's fast forward a prayer Heavenly Father thank you again for the opportunity because Labor's with you please Lord teach us how to do your work your way help us to be faithful to the mission you've given us and by your great grace and our humble efforts Lord help us to see Jesus and to see we prayed in Jesus name. 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