Within the church we will find groups of people who meet together to brainstorm, strategize, make recommendations or decisions and plans on how to effectively do ministry in a certain area of church life.
Church Board (called by varying names in different churches but composed of those who provide broad oversight of the church)
Long Standing Committees or Ministry Teams (composed of leaders of a department or ministry area, i.e., Christian Education Commission)
Short Term or Temporary Committees or Ministry Teams (composed of select individuals to work on strategic planning for a seasonal ministry i.e., VBS, task i.e., Budget Committee, or what we might call a steering committee to help with new ministry initiatives)
While these groups may have different functions, the church’s purpose should provide the common thread:
- The Church’s Purpose determines their reason for existence.
You should be able to provide a rational for why this group is needed to help the church fulfill it’s purpose. If not, it is possibly wasting precious time and resources.
- The Church’s Purpose is the end toward which all work.
The church purpose should be used as a grid through which all decisions are made. If not, it is possibly fragmenting rather than unifying the church.
The Church Purpose is what helps all the various ministries remain coordinated within the church. No committee, board, department, or team should be an end to itself. Yet, within the framework of the church’s purpose, great freedom can be given.
What are you doing to make sure the church board, committees, and ministry teams come under the umbrella of your church purpose?
Following are some suggestions. Perhaps you can add to this list.
- include this in training for all new incoming board members
- provide guidance for teams or committees on how to work toward this end
- set the parameters and expectations for the kinds of decisions and steps they can make and trust them to work within it as long as they keep coordinated within the whole, working toward the overall church purpose (perhaps job descriptions or written objectives)
- build in some kind of accountability (reporting) without micro-managing, interfering, or manipulating
You can state what you believe to be God’s purposes for the church, even have a written church purpose statement, but it will mean little if it isn’t practiced and modeled from the Church Board through to all the varying committees or ministry teams. If the people responsible for steering and strategizing don’t provide this focus, who will?