Church Governance Workshop Powerpoint

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Reorganizing Our Congregations
For the Future
CAC Annual Meeting
June 2014
Why Now?
“Many people even avoid getting involved with
church ministries because they are afraid they
are going to get pulled onto a board or sucked
into the bureaucracy of their local churches.
They avoid even what they would love to do
because they are afraid of being stuck doing
things they really do not enjoy doing. This
dynamic stifles the potential our churches have
for building excitement and enthusiasm into our
ministries. Smaller church governments can help
free people up to participate in ministry without
the threat of being pulled onto a board or forced
into a committee.”
--Rev. Douglas J. Bixby
“Challenging the Church Monster: From Conflict to Community”
Workshop Participants
Rev. Dr. Marty Kuchma, St. Paul’s UCC,
Westminster, MD, author of Church Be Nimble
Steve Harms, Union Congregational Church,
Montclair, NJ
Rev. Dr. Johann Bosman, Community
Congregational Church, Short Hills, NJ
Sara Fitzgerald, Rock Spring UCC, Arlington, VA
All of You!
Our Approach Today
Quick history of church organization
Case studies from four CAC churches
 Identified issues
 Approach to addressing the issues
Sharing other stories
Questions, comments, etc.
Sunday morning roundtable session
How We Got Where We Are:
Historical Factors
Christianity started as a movement with no clear
organizational structure
Officially sanctioned by the Empire (circa 325
CE) and began to resemble that which it had
opposed
Protestant Reformation in 1500s required a
rethinking of church organization—”the
priesthood of all believers”
How We Got Where We Are:
Machine Model Organizations
Newtonian Science made the world feel
predictable
Its concepts were applied to organizations
-- including churches
The Challenge of
Generational Differences
The 5 generations in our churches today have
experienced the world differently and have
experienced a different world
 GI Generation
 Builders
 Boomers
 Busters (Generation X)
 Bridgers/Millennials
The Age of “Posts”
Post-Modernism
Post-Christian
Post-Denominational
No longer “one universal truth”
Shades of gray instead of black and white
Less prescriptive, more malleable
St. Paul’s UCC,
Westminster, Maryland
St. Paul’s UCC,
Westminster, Maryland
Founded in 1869
German Reformed tradition
ONA and progressive in conservative
county and region
About 355 official members, 275 active
2 called pastors since 2006
5 more ordained/retired clergy
1 person considering ordination
Key Questions for Church
What is God trying to do with us and
through us?
How are we getting in the way?
Focus of Reorganization
“Living Systems” model
 Focus on new life and new possibilities
Emphasis on clearing away bureaucratic
clutter
Organizing “for now and not forever”
Examples of Changes
Bylaws reduced from 17 to 7 pages
Consistory opened to new members
Membership re-assessed
 Not “pew renter” expectations
 Look at months not weeks
Friends and visitors included in ministries
Use of Robert’s Rules is optional
 More focus on meaningful conversation
Examples of Changes (more)
Creation of Task Forces with specific focus and time limit
Policies and Procedures Manual rewritten into Covenant
Guides
 1 page page per ministry
Emphasis on passions rather than filling slots and
maintaining committees
More emphasis on the community and wider world, less
on institutional self-preservation
General changes in language and culture
New Initiative: 30/30 Challenge
United Church of Christ
Central Atlantic Conference
50th Annual Meeting
June 13-15, 2014
Reorganizing Our Congregations for the
Future
Steve Harms, Leadership Council President
Union Congregational Church
Montclair, New Jersey
16
Union Congregational Church
Characteristics
Montclair Community: 38,000 population, 12
miles west of NYC.
Church membership: 570, average attendance
207 including 70 youth, 80% college grads,
median age 50
Operating budget: $1million/year
17
Union Congregational Church
Program Dimensions
Youth and
Children:
Learning Centers, Nursery School, Early Age Stepping Stones, 8th grade
Confirmation, High School Youth program, Side Door (Fridays) after
school program, Soul Café (Sunday
Evening youth fellowship)
Adults:
Bible Studies, Book Groups, 2nd hour programs
Outreach:
Youth Education (SCEEP), Homeless (IHN), Support food
kitchens/pantries, Native American Youth Outreach
Community:
Boy/Girl scouts, AA, LaLeche League, Drama and Operetta Clubs, Yoga,
Society of Engineers, Bird Club, League of Women’s Voters, other
community groups.
Capital
Campaign:
Raised $2.1 million from congregation and $0.75 million state grant to
upgrade 1899 church structure.
18
Staff Transitions Drove Need for Change
Dynamic, greatly loved, Sr. Minister of 19 years departs (12/12)
Associate Minister of Youth and Young Adults accepts call as Senior
Minister at Connecticut church (6/13)
Director of Nursery School accepts new position out of state (4/14)
19
Union Congregational Church
Rebuilding Process
Transitional vs full time Senior Minister?
Selected Transitional approach: Time to mend, Time to access
Called Rev. Dr. Tom Zoelzer, 4/13, Senior Transitional Minister
Conducted Church-wide Cottage Meetings to Assess Needs
Results presented, discussed, and summarized in Church-wide meeting.
Hired Rev. Barbara Rice – Assistant Minister of Youth and Young
Adults
Formalized Governance Discernment Task Force
5 person team appointed by Leadership Council
Re-balance Governance with emphasis on Lay Leadership
20
Governance Discernment Task Force
Critical Component of our Change Process
Governance Model:
Was:
Now:
Senior Minister led Spiritual, Administrative, and Leadership
Council
Leadership Council leads with Senior Minister as primary
Spiritual leader and Head of Staff (Staff of 9)
Subtle but Fundamental shift requiring broader and deeper
participation of the congregation and its lay leadership
Required Review and Adjustment of our constitution to embed
these conclusions.
21
Adjustments to the
Constitution,
Seemingly Minor,
Operationally Major
Senior Minister Role: Primary Spiritual Leader and Head of
Staff
Leadership Council Expanded from 8 to 10 teams, adding
Welcoming and Diaconate Teams
Clarified Responsibilities of Each Team
Removed provision requiring staff resignation upon call of New
Minister.
22
Lessons Learned and Looking Forward
Congregational Structure of Church governance requires active Lay
Leadership with open and symbiotic relationship with Senior Minister.
Although the constitution reflects the rebalancing of responsibilities,
how we live up to these new responsibilities makes the difference.
Expansion of the Council increases lay involvement (good), but places
premium on orderly meeting management
Ad hoc rules committee created to define by-laws consistent with the
constitution (ex. Rights and Privileges of Leadership Council guests,
criteria to enter executive session,…)
Looking forward:
Anticipate inclusion of by-laws into our Constitution
Position church for spiritual and membership growth
23
Community Congregational Church
Short Hills, NJ
JOHANN BOSMAN & JENNIFER HRYNYK
Clergy
JOHN GERBINO & ALI HEADLEY
Church Chair / Vice Chair
Governance Reorganization
1.Church & Community Profile
2.Church Revitalization
3.Developmental Process
4.Governance Model
5.Operation & Evaluation
Church &
Community Profile
Community Profile
SHORT HILLS (NJ)
Listed #1 of the “10 Richest Towns in America” (Time, May 2014.)
“West of New York City, Short Hills is a quiet, affluent town, popular among wealthy NYC commuters”
•“69.4% of households make more than $150k”
•
Church Profile
COMMUNITY CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
•
•
•
•
Founded in 1953
250 Adult Members
Cell Towers / Solar Plant / Montessori School
Projects: Outreach / Renovation
Church
Revitalization
Church Revitalization
•
•
Mainline Decline (Sabbatical Field Visits, 2008)
Revitalization & Growth Plan Initiatives
Church Revitalization
Church Revitalization
Church Revitalization
Paradigm Shift
Church Revitalization
•
•
•
•
Mainline Decline (Sabbatical Field Visits, 2008)
Revitalization & Growth Plan Initiatives
Consolidation & Streamlining (e.g. Women’s
Guild)
Governance Model Limitations
•
•
•
•
80 in 18
Musical Chairs
Life Sentence
Passing the Buck
Developmental
Process
Developmental Process
Developmental Process
1. Draft New Governance Model
2. Governance Task Force
3. Publish Prospectus
4. Informational Meeting (April 14, 2013)
5. Special Congregational Meeting (April 22,
2013)
6. Trial Year 1 (2013)
7. Trial Year 2 (2014)
Governance Model
Previous Governance Model
New Governance Model
CONGREGATION
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
CHAIR
Church
Chair
VICE
CHAIR
Church
Vice-Chair
3
Church
Treasurer &
Budget
4
Portfolio:
Investments
5
Portfolio:
Legal
6
Portfolio:
Build & Grnds
7
Portfolio:
Personnel
8
Portfolio:
Stewardship
9
Member
At-Large
10
Staff:
Clergy
11
Staff:
Clergy
SECRETARY
9
Portfolio:
10
Staff:
Clergy
11
Staff:
Clergy
12
Staff:
Music Dir.
Staff:
B.Manager
BOARD OF MINISTRIES
CHAIR
Church
Vice-Chair
2
Church
Chair
3
Church
Clerk
4
Portfolio:
Worship
5
Portfolio:
Outreach
6
Portfolio:
Youth
7
Portfolio:
Adult Ed
Task Forces*
8
Portfolio:
Music
Growth &
Membership
Governance Model
1. Essence
• Mission/Vision - Budget - Calendar
• Events/Activities
2. Structural Dynamics
• Boards, Portfolios & Task Forces
• Communication: Digital Platform & Media
• Volunteer Resources: Time, Skills, Enthusiasm
• Empowered Boards, Leaders, Staff
Operation &
Evaluation
Operation & Evaluation
1.Trial Period Data
• Fine Line: Flexibility, Freedom & MIA
• Learning Curve: Staff/Volunteer Ratio
2.Governance Task Force Assignment
• Determine Model Merits: Old & New
• By-Laws Update
Rock Spring Congregational UCC
Arlington, VA
Church Characteristics
102 years old
500+ members, 200 pledging units
Type A, Washington policy wonks
Current structure dated from 1948, when suburban
neighborhood exploded in growth
Since then, more boards added, none eliminated
Old ethic: “Good” members join a board
Senior minister retired in 2008 after 19-year tenure
Created good opportunity for strategic planning and
experimentation
Problem Trying to Solve
Available volunteer resources could not support
church’s bureaucratic structure
106 constitutionally mandated positions
80 more “semi-permanent” jobs (e.g. Sunday
School teachers, ushers, Caring Ministry)
Nominating Committee asked Council to appoint
committee to study voluntarism in 2009
70-Year church lifecycle?
How We Approached the Issue
Four-member Council committee studied for four months
 Former Nominating Committee chairs, Council
presidents, board chairs
Reviewed history of Rock Spring’s structure
Surveyed board chairs on needs
Reviewed off-board tasks
Looked at some newer models from other churches
Interviewed pastors
Reviewed literature
Prepared report for congregation
Key Recommendations
Suspend Constitution’s board requirements for 2 years
to permit experimentation (extended for a 3rd year)
Encourage boards to meet only when they had to
Make better use of new technologies
Encourage boards to recruit volunteers to do shorterterm projects or jobs that did not require attending
meetings
 Former Deacons could serve communion
 2-person offering counter teams did not have to serve on Finance Board
Merge Social Action Board and Stewardship Board
Suggestions for better coordination of church activities
Next Steps
New pastor called in 2010
Small-group “Imagine” parties helped define priorities
2011—Six task forces created





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Future of an aging facility?
Development of “5th Sundays” program
Consider becoming a Global Mission Church
Worship
Communications, including website redesign
Constitution
Went out of business when task was done, or became a
board committee
Constitution Task Force
Everyone said Yes!
7 members, including senior pastor
3 former Council chairs
3 of 4 members of the Volunteer Review Committee
1 lawyer, 1 writer/editor
1 current Council member who was relatively new to
church, but good strategic thinker (Mr. Outside)
Members had served on every church board
Constitutional Revisions
Set minimum board size of 6—board can request more
 e.g., Christian Education has 9, divided into three
committees; full board meets every other month
Preferred term still 3 years, but can serve shorter
amount of time, and decide to reup for maximum of 6
Most constitutional “rules” removed; boards expected to
draft “operating policies” and review annually
Reviewed through boards, Council, congregational
information sessions
Virtually no opposition
Should we have pushed harder?
After the Task Force. . . .
Task Force members still served as “experts” on more
changes sought by boards
Worked with Deacons on more changes related to
defining church membership and how new members are
brought into the church
3 Task Force members guided dismantling of Women’s
Fellowship
 Separate bylaws, treasury, seat on Council
 Most contentious element: Tension over retaining
name of “Women’s” Fellowship, attached to new
endowment fund
New Approach to Nominations
Board chairs review their needs, interest of
current members and whether current
members are fully engaged
2013: Recruited 29 people to fill vacancies
(80 total board slots)
“What do you feel called to do?”
Transforms “arm-twisting” into a more
meaningful conversation
Things I Learned
Perspectives of reformers will impact
extent and nature of proposed changes
Pros and cons of large Church Council still
under discussion
Who’s in charge of “Congregational Life”?
Process for moving forward on work by
independent task forces (2 new ones)
Evolution should be continual
Questions and Comments?
More Resources
CAC Website Governance Resources
 http://cacucc.org/resourcelinks/category/13
Book Resource Sheet
Send your church documents to
[email protected]
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