Making a Difference: Leading in the Local Church
The following is offered as a brief introduction to some of the work that goes on in the ministry of the local church. The descriptions are far from complete, but are intended to give persons who might be interested in serving in the respective ministry areas of this local church an idea of the typical or more routine responsibilities that are undertaken.
The Church Council has the responsibility for planning, implementing, and evaluating effective ministry. The Council acts as the executive agency of the Charge Conference, which means that between meetings of the Charge Conference, the Church Council guides the church. The Church Council should reflect the character and population of the congregation and therefore it has many members who lead and serve in other areas or capacities within the church who also serve as members of the Church Council as well. The Church Council Chairperson helps coordinate the agenda of the meetings (most often monthly year), preside at the meetings of the Church Council, and work in conjunction with the clergy and members of the congregation to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. In addition to the many ex-officio Council members and members who serve by virtue of their elected leadership to other more specific ministry areas, several “at-large” members are elected to the Council each year (usually in “classes: with three-year terms) to ensure that the congregation is represented broadly in the leadership of the local church.
The Lay Leader and Lay Members to Annual Conference (1 Lay Member to Annual Conference for each full-time clergy appointment) are key roles in linking the vision and plan of the congregation with the ministry of the annual conference and in nurturing cooperation and coordination of the pastor and congregation in leadership. The Lay Leader has a primary focus on linking the local church and community. Lay Members to Annual Conference have a primary focus in linking the local church to the connectional United Methodist Church and God’s worldwide church. The Alternate Member to Annual Conference acts as a backup in the event an elected Lay Member of Annual Conference is unable to serve or attend the meeting(s) of the North Texas Annual Conference.
The Endowment Committee of the church is responsible for managing endowed or long-term invested monetary assets intended to grow and serve the church in the future. The Chairperson is elected annually. In addition to some ex-officio members who serve based on their elected leadership roles in other areas of the church, one “at-large” member is elected annually to serve a three-year term as well.
The Scholarship Committee works to support the ongoing education of graduating high school seniors who are members of the local church. The Committee plans and implements fundraisers to support the established financial goals and then discerns who the recipient(s) will be each year. Meetings are scheduled as needed. Members are typically elected to serve three year terms.
The Preschool Board serves in support of the church’s Preschool ministry. The Board provides oversight, encouragement, and direction to the Preschool staff, students and families. They also serve as the connection to the congregation to keep all parties informed as to the work of the Preschool, as well as the needs of the church in its work in the broader community. The Preschool Chairperson schedules meetings as needed, creates the agenda of the Board meetings, and presides during the meetings. Members are elected typically to serve three year terms.