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 Administrative Board has the responsibility for planning, implementing, and evaluating effective ministry. The Board acts as the executive agency of the Charge Conference, which means that between meetings of the Charge Conference, the Administrative Board guides the church. The Administrative Board 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 Administrative Board as well. The Administrative Board Chairperson helps coordinate the agenda of the meetings (most often quarterly each year), preside at the meetings of the Administrative Board, 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 Board 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 Board 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.
Council on Ministries
The Council on Ministries serves to proclaim the work of God into the congregation, the local community, and into the world in a way that demonstrates the love of Christ and the nurturing of the Holy Spirit to those who are in need. The ministry areas and those who serve in those areas are an on-going reflection of the grace and mercy God offers. While each of the ministry areas may fulfill their calls to serve independently in identifying and deciding how its particular ministry of care and nurture is carried out (or by how many persons may be needed in each area), the connectional nature of the work of ministry is achieved, shared, celebrated and adjusted when needed, through the over-arching or umbrella structure of a Council on Ministries. The Chairperson and some of the individual or more specific ministry area leaders serve on the Administrative Board. The Chairperson, much like the Administrative Board Chairperson, helps to plan meeting agendas and implement the ministry efforts, as well as help plan and implement budget needs for the ministry areas that make up the Council on Ministries (COM).
Committee on Finance
The goal of the ministry of the Finance Committee is to fund the financial needs of ministry that nurtures persons in their faith. The Finance Committee is tasked with raising, managing, and dispersing the funds of the congregation that help realize the mission and vision of the church. The Chairperson, who serves on Administrative Board as well, plans the agendas and presides at the meetings of the Finance Committee. Other church leaders, by virtue of their elected positions within the church, serve on Finance as well. In addition, three “at-large” members are elected to the Finance Committee (usually in “classes: with three-year terms) to ensure that the congregation is represented broadly in the leadership of the local church.
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.
Staff-Parish Relations Committee
The Staff-Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) serves a key role in establishing the focus of the pastor(s), staff, and congregation’s ministry. The SPRC supports the pastors and staff and helps them interpret their roles and ministries in support of the whole congregation in making disciples. SPRC meets quarterly at a minimum. The Chairperson establishes meeting agendas and presides at meetings. Each year, three persons are elected to SPRC (usually in “classes: with three-year terms) to ensure that the congregation is represented broadly in the leadership of the local church.
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.