SEEKING GOD'S LEADERSHIP TO DEVELOP SOUTHVIEW'S VISION




D R A F T

REPORT TO THE SOUTHVIEW BAPTIST CHURCH

ON

REORGANIZATION AND STRUCTURE RECOMMENDATIONS





Prepared by the Ad Hoc Committee
March 2001




TABLE OF CONTENTS

SECTION 1  Introduction and Background 

1.1 Introductiion
1.2 Background	

SECTION 2  Basic Recommendations 

SECTION 3  Specific Recommendations
3.1 The Vision Council
	3.1.1 Purpose
	3.1.2 Structure	
	3.1.3 Membership Qualifications	
	3.1.4 Election of Members
	3.1.5 Meetings	
	3.1.6 The Strategic Plan
3.2 The Leadership Council
	3.2.1 Purpose	
	3.2.2 Membership	
	3.2.3 Qualifications	
	3.2.4 Terms of Service	
	3.2.5 Responsibilities	
	3.2.6 Meetings	
	3.2.7 The Strategic Plan	
	3.2.8 Leadership Council Decision Process	
3.3 Strategic Planning Process  	
	Figure 3-1. Strategic Planning Process	
	Table 3-1. Leadership Council Decision Process	
3.4 Church-Wide Decision Process	
3.5 Empowering Team Leaders and Church Officers	
3.6 Business Meetings	

SECTION 4  The Church Organization

4.1 Introduction 	
4.2 The Southview Ministry Organization 	
4.3 The Southview Ministry Support Organization 	
4.4 Congregational Authority 	
	Figure 4-1. Southview Ministry Organization	
	Figure 4-2. Southview Ministry Support Organization	
4.5  Staffing     	
	4.5.1 Qualifications	
	4.5.2 Communications Coordinator	
	4.5.2.1 Responsibilities	
	4.5.3 Missions Director	
	4.5.3.1 Responsibilities	

SECTION 5  Checks and Balances 

5.1 Introduction	
5.2 Methodology	
	5.2.1 God's Authority	
	5.2.2 Limits	
	5.2.2.1 Terms	
	5.2.2.2 Spending	
	5.2.2.3 Authority	
5.3 Congregational Access	
5.4 Tracking   	
5.5 Trial Period	

SECTION 6  Next Steps 

6.1 Purpose    	
6.2 Steps to Select Vision Council Members	
6.3 Steps to Select a Missions Director	
6.4 Steps to Select a Communications Coordinator	
6.5 Steps to Transition the Church Council to the Leadership Council	
6.6 Steps to Transition the Nominating Committee to the Spiritual Gifts Team
6.7 Steps to Revise the Church Constitution and By-Laws	
6.8 Establishing Communications	
6.9 Sequence of Activities	

SECTION 7  Summary  



SECTION 1  Introduction and Background 

1.1  Introduction. 

At the May 2000 business meeting the deacons offered a proposal that the church 
approve the formation of an ad hoc committee to study and recommend changes in 
our church organization and any necessary changes in the church constitution and 
bylaws.  The proposal, which was approved by the church in September 2000, 
included the tasks of:  1) seeking God's leadership through the scriptures, 2) 
studying organizational strategies of successful churches who were in situations 
similar to our church, and 3) working closely with the pastor and staff, 4) preparing 
a written report to the church body detailing the proposed organization, 5) ensuring 
that the new organization will enhance the church's administration of near term 
business and long range planning.

1.2  Background         Reason for the Task - Growth.

Southview Baptist Church is over twenty years old and for nearly all that time the 
church had and followed the same vision:  1) establish a viable faith community in 
this location, 2) call needed ministerial staff, 3) build sufficient buildings to house 
the people and the programs offered.  All this time the church membership grew 
significantly. The initial building was out grown and a larger building was added.  
church finances grew significantly.  Within the last four or five years the original 
'visionaries' became a minority.  The makeup of the church body had changed.  
Now, with 556 members, one-third of the members are of Baptist background, one-
third are of backgrounds in another denomination, and one-third are new 
Christians.  As the original vision was successfully fulfilled there evolved a 'vision 
vacuum'.  The 'vision vacuum' matter was exhaustively discussed within the 
deacon body.  A series of sermons on 'Becoming a People of God' resulted in a 
'Solemn Assembly' to seek God's leadership in the direction the church should 
take.  A very high level goal was identified from the 'Solemn Assembly', but the 
vision of which program(s) to use was still elusive.  After more deacon 
involvement they realized there are many options requiring more prayer, research, 
and study.  The existing organization was adequate for a church in the small size 
category (startup to 150 members) with relatively static programs.  They also 
realized this strategy planing task was infringing on their main task - the Deacon 
Family Ministry, which had grown as the church grew.  Because of the increased 
demands on both ministry and administration, the deacons no longer had sufficient 
time to address church business, conduct family Ministry, and assist the pastor 
with visionary long range planning of new ministries.  The scriptures support the 
need to distinguish between serving the church body and providing oversight 
guidance.  The need for a responsible strategic planning group appeared 
appropriate to the deacons and pastor, but what would the congregation think
  • Thus, the proposal came from the deacons (as described and approved above) to form a group to study the best way to reorganize with efficiency and effectiveness honoring God. The Ad Hoc committee has been working, praying, researching, studying, and writing since November. Our study (Bible, books, web-sites, questionnaire, interviews, etc.) shows other successful churches have solved their growth plateau by implementing focused management and mission leadership groups to make day-to-day decisions. These groups were trusted to implement trial programs and bring fresh local results to the congregation for a decision to continue, re-focus, or terminate the programs. This report is presented to you for consideration and prayer as you make your decision on how we will proceed. Can a small focused group at Southview adequately determine our church's long range plans or does it take the whole congregation
  • SECTION 2 Basic Recommendations As initially briefed to the church body in November 2000, the basic proposal includes the following: 1 Restructure the Church Council as a Leadership Council 2 Select a Missions Director 3 Form a Vision Council 4 Redefine the Nominating Committee as Spiritual Gifts Team 5 Select a Communications Coordinator 6 Rename Committees as Teams 7 Empower Program Leaders 8 Provide Checks and Balances 9 Modify the Bylaws 10 Implement the Recommendations for a Trial Period SECTION 3 Specific Recommendations 3.1 The Vision Council 3.1.1 Purpose The Vision Council is a small group of men and women elected by the church membership to work closely with the pastor, who is a permanent member of the Vision Council, to seek God's leadership and direction for Southview. The Vision Council will:
  • Covenant to pray regularly, both individually and as a group, seeking the Lord's will for Southview.
  • Study the Bible and read Christian literature regularly concerning the roles, missions, and opportunities for churches to serve the Lord.
  • Meet frequently with other Christian leaders and ministers to learn from their experiences and to seek their prayer support for Southview.
  • Actively involve all Southview members, encouraging them to share any messages or leadings the Lord may lay on their hearts, and considering all recommendations for new church programs and ministries.
  • Prayerfully discern and engage the church in discussing the mission, vision, and major programs that align Southview with God's will.
  • Led by all of the above activities, and working in collaboration with the Leadership Council, develop and present a strategic plan to the Southview membership for discussion and consideration at a church business meeting. After approval, this plan will be used to set the priorities, programs, and ministries for Southview over the next several years.
  • Propose updates and modifications of the strategic plan to the Southview membership at least annually for discussion and approval at a church business meeting.
  • Oversee the accomplishment of this strategic plan. Report at least twice a year to the church body on the progress that has been made. 3.1.2 Structure The Vision Council consists of the pastor plus five individuals elected by the church. It is expected that the Vision Council will make decisions through prayerful consensus. Since there are six members, if a vote needs to be taken then at least four of the members must be in agreement to reach a majority. The Vision Council is accountable to the church body through the election of its members, preparation and modifications to the strategic plan, periodic progress reports, and open forum discussions of its recommendations. The Vision Council provides advice and guidance to the Leadership Council (see section 3.2) through the strategic plan, consultation, and regular communication. The pastor will ensure that all church staff members are kept aware of Vision Council plans and activities. In turn, the pastor will bring any suggestions or concerns from the church staff and church membership to the Vision Council. As an ex officio member of the Leadership Council, the pastor shall ensure that both the Vision Council and the Leadership Council are kept aware of the other's plans and activities. 3.1.3 Membership Qualifications Members of the Vision Council:
  • Must be active members of Southview Baptist Church.
  • Must be committed, mature Christians who love the Lord and seek to serve Him.
  • Should be gifted by the Lord with discernment g the ability to seek God's leading, to understand it, and to articulate His guidance to others in our church. This requires an active prayer life, both individually and as part of the Vision Council.
  • Serving on the Vision Council should be a top priority. Thus, Vision Council members should not have other significant responsibilities in the church that may prevent them from serving actively on the Vision Council.
  • Vision Council members should be representative of the church as a whole. Members should seek unity in the Holy Spirit at all times. The ability to work productively with the Southview membership, the church staff, the Leadership Council, and particularly with other Vision Council members is required.
  • Serving on the Vision Council is both a leadership and a servant role. Members should be able to balance these roles effectively.
  • Most of all, Vision Council members should feel called and gifted by the Lord for this role, and they should demonstrate the Christian leadership qualities that inspire others. 3.1.4 Election of Members Each member of the Vision Council other than the pastor shall serve on a rotational basis. Terms of Service:
  • For the first Vision Council election, two members shall serve twogyear tours, two shall serve three-year tours, and one shall serve a four-year tour. The Candidates Review Panel (defined below) shall decide which of the elected members will serve two, three, or four year terms.
  • In all following elections, each member shall serve a threegyear term unless he/she is elected to complete a vacancy caused by an unexpired term. In that case, the member shall serve out the remaining term of the vacancy he/she fills. Membership will be staggered so that one or two of the members complete their terms and rotate off the Vision Council each year. This balances flow-through of Vision Council membership while ensuring sufficient continuity. Vision Council members shall be elected annually except when required to fill unexpired vacancies. The process for electing Vision Council members shall be as follows:
  • Over a period of at least two weeks, church members will be encouraged to nominate other members whom they believe are called and gifted by God to serve on the Vision Council. Individuals who personally feel led to serve on the Vision Council are also encouraged to nominate themselves. The Candidates Review Panel:
  • For the initial selection of Vision Council members, the pastor, representatives from the Ad Hoc Study Committee, and one representative each from the Spiritual Gifts Team and the deacon body will form a Candidates Review Panel.
  • For all future selections, the pastor, the remaining members of the Vision Council (whose terms are not expiring), and one representative each from the Spiritual Gifts Team and the deacon body will form the Candidates Review Panel.
  • The Candidates Review Panel will consider all nominations for Vision Council membership and prayerfully determine which individuals should be interviewed.
  • The Candidates Review Panel will interview each of these individuals using the qualifications listed above (in section 3.1.3).
  • After interviews and prayerful consideration, the Candidates Review Panel will recommend all qualified candidates who will stand for election by the church.
  • At a regular Sunday worship service announced to the church membership at least two weeks in advance, church members will be invited to vote for the number of individuals needed to complete the Vision Council membership.
  • The individuals receiving the most votes from church members will be asked to serve on the Vision Council. Vision Council members will serve until the expiration of their term except in the case of death, incapacity to serve, or removal by a majority vote of church members present and voting at a business meeting called specially for this purpose. Vision Council members having completed a term are eligible for reelection for another term. There is no required break in service. 3.1.5 Meetings The Vision Council members will meet often, both in small groups and as a body. Periodically, the Vision Council will hold open meetings that will be announced to the church membership in advance. Any member of the church may attend these. The Vision Council will additionally hold open forum sessions to meet with the church membership. At such sessions, the Vision Council will present information, seek prayer, invite comments and suggestions, answer questions, and ensure that the membership has an active voice in helping shape the strategic directions of Southview. 3.1.6 The Strategic Plan The Vision Council will prepare and maintain a Strategic Plan for Southview, articulating the vision and direction for our church as the Lord leads. This plan, when complete, will include:
  • The church mission. Who we are, and why we exist as a body of believers.
  • The church vision. Who God is calling us to be, and where He is leading us.
  • Strategies, measurable goals, and activities for accomplishing Southview's mission and vision. The Vision Council is responsible for defining the mission, vision, and strategies of Southview. After these have been presented to the church body for discussion, amendment, and approval, the Leadership Council will work collaboratively with the Vision Council to identify short-term and medium-term measurable goals and the church activities that will accomplish these. Thus, the Strategic Plan is built in two phases, successively more detailed and specific. The final Strategic Plan may include:
  • A brief history of our church, including a summary of what we have accomplished or overcome in the past.
  • A current description of the church organization, programs, ministries, membership, and resources.
  • The vision and direction for Southview that God has revealed to the Vision Council. This should include our purpose, our mission, our values, and the broad areas in which the Lord is leading us to serve Him.
  • A description of the needs around us, and a list of our opportunities to minister, worship, praise, and reach others with the saving message of Jesus Christ.
  • The broad strategy for accomplishing the vision and mission God has given us. This should include goals, objectives, programs, and how we will measure our success.
  • A description of the hindrances that must be overcome to accomplish the strategic plan, and a strategy for dealing with these roadblocks.
  • A description of our greatest resources.
  • Our hopes and dreams for the future. 3.2 Leadership Council 3.2.1 Purpose The Leadership Council is a successor to the current Church Council with similar purpose and activities. The purpose of the Leadership Council is to:
  • work with the Vision Council to develop and present a strategic plan to the Southview membership for discussion and consideration at a church business meeting.
  • accomplish the vision and mission of Southview Baptist Church along with the Vision Council.
  • foster spiritual values, growth, and programs of Southview.
  • review, coordinate, and implement the church activities and programs. 3.2.2 Membership Membership consists of leaders of accountable groups and church officers. Membership is expandable, as necessary, based on Vision Council recommendations. Initial membership will include:
  • Minister of Education and Family Life (Chairperson) g to represent the interests of church education and spiritual gifts team (which replaces the current nominating committee)
  • Minister of Music and Administration g to represent the interests of church worship, administration, trustees, communications, and other business related elements.
  • Youth Director
  • Children's Director
  • Missions Director
  • Women's Ministry Leader
  • Singles' Ministry Leader
  • Men's Ministry Leader
  • Chairman of Deacons
  • Chairman of Stewardship Team
  • Pastor (exgofficio member)
  • Sunday School Director
  • Discipleship Training Director
  • Communications Coordinator 3.2.3 Qualifications Members of the Leadership Council will first have been selected/elected to specific leadership positions. They will be:
  • Spiritually gifted to serve in their specialty or discipline.
  • Capable of using their talents to serve God, the congregation, and community.
  • Dedicated to their area of service and role on the Leadership Council. 3.2.4 Terms of Service Each member's term will be based upon the length of service in the Leadership position (duration of office tenure). 3.2.5 Responsibilities Responsibilities will include, but not be limited to:
  • Reviewing and implementing programs to support the plans recommended by the Vision Council.
  • Coordinating all church activities, the use of leadership, calendar time, developing near-term plans and schedules, facility usage, and other resources according to program priorities.
  • Reviewing and deciding upon special requests submitted by accountable team leaders.
  • Serve as a decisiongmaking body for dayto-day church requests.
  • Preparing initial drafts of program information for Communications releases.
  • Providing program information to Vision Council for evaluation. 3.2.6 Meetings Meetings will be held as required, at least monthly. Meetings are normally open to any church member or they may be invited to attend for a specific purpose. Teams and organizations not directly represented on the council should submit their requests (comments, concerns) to the council member who oversees their ministry. 3.2.7 Strategic Plan The Leadership Council will work collaboratively with the Vision Council to identify short-term and medium-term measurable goals and the church activities that will accomplish these. The task of implementing those goals will rest with the Leadership Council which will develop, refine and have responsibility for details in accomplishing the goals as outlined in Sections 3 and 4 of the Strategic Planning Process. 3.2.8 Leadership Council Decision Process Any actions/issue/questions/decisions beyond the Program/Ministry's authority, or in which there is disagreement are to be submitted in writing to the Leadership Council. They will review the idea/issue and make the final decision. If appropriate, the Leadership Council may consult with the Vision Council before making a decision. Decisions will be made primarily by consensus. When required, the chair may take a vote with a simple majority prevailing. The chair will break tie votes. 3.3 Strategic Planning Process Figure 3-1 (below) shows the strategic planning process and Table 3-1 describes the process steps. Figure 3-1 Strategic Planning Process Table 3-1 Strategic Planning Process Step Activity Primary Responsibility Other Participants Outputs 1 The Vision Council will develop Southview's overall Vision for the future. It will include at a high level, the priorities, vision, mission, strategies, and values of Southview - how we fit into our community, our world, and God's Kingdom; what we will emphasize (and thus, what we will not). This Vision will be the first component of the overall Strategic Plan The Council itself will determine the best approach for creating/revising the Vision. However, their approach will include the following activities:
  • Meet and pray together to seek God's leadership
  • Actively involve all Southview members to gather their input and leadings
  • Meet with the Leadership Council to gather their ideas and inputs
  • Study outside resources (this may include meeting with others, reading literature, attending conferences, etc.) Vision Council Leadership Council, Church Body Church Vision - Vision, Mission, Strategies 2 During a business meeting, the Vision Council will present the Vision to the church body for review and approval. This may be an iterative activity as more issues or points are raised. However, this should not be the forum for making major changes to the Vision. All major revisions should take place during the development. Once the church body reaches a consensus on the Vision, it will be approved (this will be accomplished by a majority vote). Church Body Vision Council Approved Church Vision 3 After approval by the church body, the Leadership Council will work closely with the Vision Council to translate the Vision and Strategies into Goals and Activities. These Goals/Activities should address each Strategy and will support Southview's work towards the Vision. Along with each activity, the Leadership Council will identify the Programs/Ministries responsible for completing/sponsoring the activity. If it is determined that changes to the Program/Ministry staff or personnel are necessary, they will be made in accordance with Southview's bylaws. The Goals and Activities will be integrated with the Church Vision to create the overall Strategic Plan for Southview. The Strategic Plan integrates the Church Vision and the Strategies to create one document that will guide Southview's program/ministry activities during the life of the Plan. When developing the Strategies, the Leadership Council will include the following activities:
  • Meet and pray together to seek God's leadership
  • Actively involve Southview members to gather their input and leadings (via their individual programs or open forums)
  • Study outside resources (this may include meeting with others, reading literature, attending conferences, etc.) Leadership Council Vision Council, Church Body Goals and Activities 4 After approval by the church body, the Leadership Council will work with the Finance Team to layout a multi-year budget that supports the Strategic Plan. Both groups will resolve any issues (shortages/overages) with the budget as needed. Leadership Council Budget Committee Budget 5 Based on the Strategic Plan, Southview's Programs/Ministries will develop and execute detailed plans that will accomplish the Strategic goals. While each Program/Ministry is expected to implement their individual plan, coordination between groups is expected. Programs/ Ministries Church Body, Leadership Council Executed Plans 6 The church programs, run by leaders in the church organization (both volunteer and staff), will accomplish the goals of the Strategic Plan. As the strategic goals are accomplished, Southview moves closer to achieving its Vision. Programs/ Ministries Church Body Move Closer to God's Plan 3.4 Church-Wide Decision Process Members of the church body may identify a Ministry/Program-related idea or issue that they feel the church should address. This could be for a new activity or address an existing one. This person/group will present their idea/issue to the leader of the appropriate Ministry/Program. (This step can be performed at a formal meeting of the Program/Ministry. However, most of the time it will probably happen informally). The Ministry/Program will make a decision about whether to incorporate new ideas into its strategy or to reject it. If the Ministry/Program accepts an idea, they will implement it as appropriate. Any actions/issues/questions/decisions beyond the Program/ Ministry's authority, or in which there is disagreement are to be submitted in writing to the Leadership Council. They will review the idea/issue and make the final decision. If appropriate, the Leadership Council may consult with the Vision Council before making a decision. The Vision Council will provide input on how the proposed activity/issue fits into the Church Vision. (The Vision Council will only be involved when the idea/issue relates to the overall Church Vision). 3.5 Empowering Team Leaders and Church Officers Southview's church body chooses or elects the individuals who will serve in the roles of team leaders and church officers. The church body also reviews and approves Southview's:
  • Vision, which lays out the mission, direction, and strategies of the church;
  • Annual budget, which sets the operating funds available to each church program and activity; and
  • Constitution and BygLaws, which define the structure and operating procedures for all church functions. In these ways the primary authorities of the church rest with, and are exercised by, the congregation. To ensure that Southview's programs and activities can operate efficiently and effectively, the church leaders and officers must have the authority to act within the constraints of their responsibilities and funding. Thus, a key recommendation of this report is that we, the church, should empower our elected leaders and officers to act on our behalf - holding them accountable for exercising reasonable care in the performance of their duties. To that end, team leaders and church officers:
  • Should be expected to accomplish the responsibilities defined for their position with a minimum of external oversight. If the leaders/officers plan any activities that go substantially beyond their areas of responsibility, they must coordinate these with the Leadership Council in advance.
  • Must ensure that their programs remain within the budget line item(s) approved by the church. They must bring any activities that may exceed their budget before the Leadership Council for prior approval. Any planned fund-raising activities should be communicated to the Leadership Council in advance.
  • Are expected to exercise reasonable caution and judgment in the performance of their duties. When in doubt, they should seek the advice of the Leadership Council.
  • Are accountable to the Leadership Council and the church body for accomplishing the goals and activities approved in the Strategic Plan. In this way, the church body can maintain reasonable insight into and oversight of Southview's activities, while also empowering the leaders and officers to act responsibly without the need to take every action before a church business meeting for a vote. 3.6 Business Meetings The proposals in this report should enable Southview teams and leaders to operate more efficiently, balancing the church body's desire for a voice in Southview's activities with the need to be agile and responsive in following the Lord's leading. Thus, the primary mechanism used currently to direct church activities - the business meeting - will be less important to day-to-day church operations. We recommend that the church schedule only two business meetings a year instead of the current six bimonthly meetings. The two planned business meetings would be held in May and November of each year. The primary purposes of the November business meeting are to:
  • Elect church officers and team leaders for the next year;
  • Approve the next year's operating budget;
  • Review annual progress against the Southview Strategic Plan; and
  • Approve updates to the Strategic Plan. The primary purposes of the May business meeting are to:
  • Review midgyear progress against the Southview Strategic Plan; and
  • Hear significant reports from church leaders and officers, interacting with these individuals. The Church Moderator can schedule special called Business Meetings during the year whenever they are required or requested. This change, along with empowering team leaders and church officers, is essential if Southview hopes to act quickly in times of need or opportunity. SECTION 4 The Church Organization 4.1 Introduction Although Southview Baptist Church has existed since 1977, we have not maintained an official organization chart that shows the relationships of our church staff, officers, committees, and programs. The majority of these positions and organizations are listed in our current Charter Constitution and By-Laws (dated December 1994), but the connections and mutual accountability among them have not been made clear. New church members, and even some longer-term ones, are often unaware of how Southview is structured and how decisions are made. We recognize that the church is a theocracy, with God as its head and the congregation of believers as its body. Nonetheless, for a church as large as Southview to conduct its worship and ministries, it needs an effective way to share the work and to make decisions. The Ad Hoc Study Committee was commissioned by the church to "study and recommend changes in our church organization." Thus, we are proposing an organization defined by the two charts that follow. Our goals are to help all church members understand Southview's organization and decision-making processes, and to increase awareness of service opportunities in our various ministries and support areas. Although our Committee planned to develop a single organization chart, we discovered that, like most churches, Southview operates on two distinct but related planes -- our ministries, and the activities that support them. After much discussion, we believe the best way to show Southview's organization is through a pair of charts because:
  • The size of our membership and number of our ministries and programs affect the way we are structured and how decisions are made. A single, complete organization chart is too complex to be understood easily.
  • Two charts show more clearly how we function as a church. Distinguishing ministry from support provides greater clarity for both roles. The following two charts show Southview as we believe it should operate. They include the new or renamed organizations and positions described earlier in this paper, as well as the two new ministry positions the church established in 2000. The main changes or additions that differ from the current By-Laws are:
  • The Minister of Education and Family Life g a new staff position
  • The Minister of Music and Administration g a new staff position
  • The Vision Council g a new organization
  • The Leadership Council g a successor to the current Church Council
  • The Director of Missions g a new position
  • The Communications Coordinator g a new position
  • The Spiritual Gifts Team g a successor to the current Nominating Committee
  • Use of the word "Team" instead of "Committee" throughout 4.2 The Southview Ministry Organization The Ministry Organization chart (shown in Figure 4-1 below) shows the primary ministries of Southview. Each of these is accountable to the Minister of Education and Family Life, the Minister of Music and Administration, or the pastor. We know that God has called our pastor to be the spiritual leader of our church. As such, he sits at the head of this organization - answerable to God and called to service by the church body. The pastor is responsible for leading Southview's programs of worship, prayer, praise, and ministry. 4.3 The Southview Ministry Support Organization To accomplish Southview's worship and ministries, we need a supporting organization - one whose components provide, develop, and maintain the basic infrastructure on which our ministries can operate effectively and efficiently. Figure 4-2 (below) shows the Southview Ministry Support organization. The primary changes from our current organization, as shown in this chart, are:
  • Most current committees are renamed as teams, to indicate that we work together in spiritual teamwork.
  • The Hospitality Committee is renamed as the Fellowship Team.
  • The Nominating Committee is renamed as the Spiritual Gifts Team. It takes on additional responsibilities for helping the Southview membership understand and use the gifts God has given them for ministry and worship.
  • A new position, the Communications Coordinator, is formed to ensure that the programs and activities of our church are communicated actively to all members. This role is especially important as our church begins to implement the changes recommended in these proposals. 4.4 Congregational Authority As with all Southern Baptist churches, the authority for organizing our church and its programs rests with our membership. The church body calls pastors and ministers, approves budgets and strategic plans, elects officers, and participates in every program and activity. The purpose of our organizational structure is to serve God by carrying out the programs and activities approved by the church body. Figure 4-1 Ministry Chart Figure 4-2 Ministry Support Chart 4.5 Staffing Our church exists to share Christ with as many people as possible in our church, community and throughout the world. To accomplish that goal additional staff is needed to fulfill that great commission. The phenomenal growth in our membership and the large number of ministries and programs at Southview necessitates additional staff to manage these activities. Two new part-time compensated positions need to be created for Communications Coordinator and Missions Director. 4.5.1 Qualifications Working with the Spiritual Gifts Team, the Minister of Education and Family Life will be responsible for interviewing candidates for these positions who are:
  • Active members of Southview Baptist Church.
  • Spiritually and vocationally gifted to serve in their specialty.
  • Capable of using their talents to serve God, the congregation, and community. 4.5.2 Communications Coordinator The Communications Coordinator serves as the central point of contact of all church communication. The Communications Coordinator is the link between the church body, the Vision Council, the Leadership Council, teams, ministries, and support staff. The Communications Coordinator takes an active roll in promoting communications within the church. 4.5.2.1 Responsibilities Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
  • Determine the most effective vehicle for communications.
  • Work with church leaders to coordinate and disseminate program and administrative information.
  • Coordinate the content of the monthly newsletters, special mailings, and church web site.
  • Keep the church body informed.
  • Attend meetings when requested.
  • Maintain appropriate documentation of actions, decisions, or events at Southview.
  • Coordinate the church calendar.
  • Collaborate with the public relations. 4.5.3 Missions Director The Missions Director's principal function is to oversee and coordinate Southview's missions activities. The Missions Director is responsible for all church, community, and international missions. 4.5.3.1 Responsibilities Initial responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
  • Work with church teams and related ministries in the planning and promoting of all activities associated with missions.
  • Assist in the planning of annual budgets and offerings as they relate to missions. SECTION 5 Checks and Balances 5.1 Introduction The Vision and Leadership Councils will be set up to facilitate the execution of the will of God in the church gathered at Southview. Ministry teams will be empowered to accomplish their individual tasks. To maintain oversight over the authority of the groups, internal checks and balances, coupled with reviews and change recommendations, will allow the groups to truly seek God's vision for the church while preserving popular support from the congregation. Limits will be set on terms, spending, and control that will keep the various teams in check. Periodic reviews will also allow the congregation access to the progress of the various councils and teams while they refine their processes to become better equipped to serve God and the congregation at Southview. Through every part of strategic planning, the focus must always remain on the One for whom we are planning. 5.2 Methodology The general methodology is specified below. 5.2.1 God's Authority The Vision Council and Leadership Council, being granted aforementioned authority in the church decision-making process, must also heed the responsibility of those decisions. To assist, a series of checks and balances will be enacted to allow the church membership access to the decisions of the Councils. There is a fine line between allowing too much authority in one small body and allowing no decision-making authority at any level above the congregation. The ideal middle ground is one wherein the church grants authority to a representative body, giving up certain personal oversight, but in return gaining a stronger momentum and vision for the body as a whole. This is the same concept behind that of a Republic in political science terms, and can also be applied to a theocracy in dealing with legislating the specific actions for carrying out the mission of the Lord. As God is the one truly in the leadership position, He has supplied us with the first and foremost check on what the Vision Council enacts; namely that it be to fulfill the kingdom of God and His glory. That check involves constantly weighing decisions against the Word, in prayer, and in consideration with the model of the early church as recorded in Scripture. While we have the Southern Baptist model to look to for governing a church, the foremost model should be that as found in the Word. 5.2.2 Limits Three general limits are defined below. 5.2.2.1 Terms Members of all councils and teams will be elected to terms of one to three years. In some cases, a member can be reelected by the church to a successive term if the individual is seen as exhibiting the spiritual gifts needed for continued service. This check will help keep leadership groups dynamic and fresh, focused on accomplishing their mission rather than on perpetuating a closed membership. 5.2.2.2 Spending While each team has more authority for decision-making than previously seen, if any one particular decision on implementation calls for spending a significant portion of the teams budget on an item not previously approved, the decision must be presented to the higher team or council for approval. 5.2.2.3 Authority With greater authority in the teams that make up the ministry effort at the church, more action will take place without the delay of waiting for congregational vote. The congregation's decision-making authority has been granted to the smaller teams to enact as they see fit for the purpose of extending the ministry of the church as seen by the vision council. With the individual ministry teams being empowered to act, the overall direction offered by the Leadership and Vision Councils will be balanced by the implementation authority of the individual teams. 5.3 Congregational Access The congregation will have access to the proceedings of the Vision Council through the Communications Coordinator. All recommendations made to the Vision Council will be logged and tracked in accordance with the following section rules. The process of strategic planning and implementation as envisioned by the Vision Council and enacted by the Leadership Council will only succeed if constant attention is paid to the actual products of the decisions made. Quarterly reviews of the status and actions of business before the councils and teams should be made. These reviews should list the ideas or recommendations of the membership, the recommendations of the staff, and the recommendations of the councils, and indicate the current status of each recommendation. This will allow the church to keep track of its ideas and initiatives as they move through the decision-making process. 5.4 Tracking All recommendations, whether from the congregation, staff, councils or teams, will be logged and tracked. Dates should be recorded, along with appropriate notes, next to changes in the status of that recommendation. The status indication should take the form of one of the following labels:
  • Assigned for Action
  • Awaiting Church Vote
  • Closed
  • Forwarded to Leadership Council
  • On Hold
  • Pending Clarification
  • Pending Research
  • Under Consideration
  • Yet to be Examined Along with the status indication, all dates should be recorded as relevant to the recommendation so that time can be tracked for future reference. Notes should accompany certain status labels for clarification (e.g., On Hold). By keeping track of all recommendations, the leadership and ministry groups can be held accountable for the item as it moves through the decision-making process. By requiring periodic reviews of all recommendation, improvements can be made if it is seen that some step along the process is a bottleneck, or others are ineffectual. This cyclical revision process will yield better results and allow all leadership and ministry groups to self-improve as they gain more experience in enabling the vision of the church. 5.5 Trial Period This report, upon approval of by the church, will be implemented for a trial period of two years to allow its effectiveness to be evaluated. At the end of the trial period, a review of the successes and failures will be made, and changes may be recommended by any member, council, or team. Before changes can be made, the recommendations must be put forth to the congregation in like manner to this initial recommendation. SECTION 6 Next Steps 6.1 Purpose. This section describes the sequence of actions required to accomplish the recommendations in this report after the church body approves it. The lists of steps are not intended to be all-inclusive, but illustrative of the key activities. 6.2 Steps to Select Vision Council Members 1- Prepare background information about Vision Council membership qualifications. 2- Prepare blank nomination forms. 3- At a regular Sunday morning worship service, announce a two-week window during which church members can nominate others or themselves. Pass out the background information and blank nomination forms. 4- Accept nominations during the two-week period. 5- Following the procedures described in the Vision Council section of this report, interview qualified candidates. 6- Announce a special called business meeting to elect Vision Council members. 7- Prepare ballots listing the recommended candidates. Present the recommended candidates to the church for election by secret ballot. 8- Hold the called business meeting and elect Vision Council members. 9- The new Vision Council members will establish the date for their first meeting, at which they will lay out the plan to accomplish their responsibilities as defined in this report. 6.3 Steps to Select a Missions Director A- The Personnel Committee will: 1- Develop a job description for this position. 2- Estimate the number of hours per week to be compensated. 3- Estimate the annual salary for this position. 4- Inform the Stewardship Committee of the financial details. B- The Stewardship Committee will: 1- Identify the possible sources of funds needed to pay the Missions Director salary. 2- Draft modifications to the Southview annual budget to accommodate this new staff member. C- The Personnel Committee will: 1- Seek qualified candidates. 2- Interview qualified candidates. 3- Recommend the best candidate to the church for approval. 4- In concert with the Stewardship Committee, recommend modifications to the Southview annual budget to accommodate the new staff member. D- At a regular or special called business meeting, the church body will vote on the recommendations from C3 and C4, above. 6.4 Steps to Select a Communications Coordinator A- The Personnel Committee will: 1- Develop a job description for this position. 2- Estimate the number of hours per week to be compensated. 3- Estimate the annual salary for this position. 4- Inform the Stewardship Committee of the financial details. B- The Stewardship Committee will: 1- Identify the possible sources of funds needed to pay the Communications Coordinator salary. 2- Draft modifications to the Southview annual budget to accommodate this new staff member. C- The Personnel Committee will: 1- Seek qualified candidates. 2- Interview qualified candidates. 3- Recommend the best candidate to the church for approval. 4- In concert with the Stewardship Committee, recommend modifications to the Southview annual budget to accommodate the new staff member. D- At a regular or special called business meeting, the church body will vote on the recommendations from C3 and C4, above. 6.5 Steps to Transition the Church Council to the Leadership Council The current Southview By-Laws define the Church Council as the following seventeen church officers:
  • The pastor, who serves as chairman
  • The church ministry staff. Currently, this includes: o The Minister of Education and Family Life o The Minister of Music and Administration o The Youth Director o The Children's Director
  • The Church Moderator
  • The Church Clerk
  • A representative of Mission Education
  • The Directors of: o Sunday School o Visitation/Outreach o Public Relations
  • Chairs of: o The Stewardship Committee o The Properties Committee o The Deacon body o The Nominating Committee o The Personnel Committee o Church and Community Ministries The proposed Leadership Council membership includes the following fourteen church individuals:
  • The Minister of Education and Family Life, who serves as chairman
  • The remaining church ministry staff. This includes: o The Pastor o The Minister of Music and Administration o The Youth Director o The Children's Director o The Missions Director o The Communications Coordinator
  • The Directors of: o Sunday School o Discipleship Training
  • Chairs of: o The Stewardship Team o The Deacon body
  • Representatives of: o Women's Ministries o Men's Ministries o Single's Ministries At a date to be determined by the Minister of Education and Family Life, the Leadership Council will replace the Church Council, having the membership as shown above. The Leadership Council will meet monthly unless otherwise scheduled by the chairman. The following steps should be followed to complete this transition: A- The Minister of Education and Family Life will: 1- Select the date on which the Leadership Council will begin to operate. 2- Inform current members of the Church Council whose positions are not on the Leadership Council. 3- Ensure that representatives are selected from the Women's, Men's, and Single's Ministries. 4- Inform new members of their participation on the Leadership Council. 5- Set the meeting agenda for the first Leadership Council meeting. 6- Lead the Council in determining a future meeting schedule and topics. B- The Communications Coordinator will ensure that Council minutes and actions are recorded and that major activities and plans are reported to the church body and the Vision Council. 6.6 Steps to Transition the Nominating Committee to the Spiritual Gifts Team A significant change in emphasis accompanies the Nominating Committee's transition to the Spiritual Gifts Team. The new team assumes the primary responsibility for working actively with Southview members to help them identify, understand, and use the spiritual gifts God has given to them. The following steps will be necessary to accomplish this change: A- Members of the Ad Hoc Study Committee will hold an orientation session for the current Nominating Committee to discuss the change in focus as they transition to the Spiritual Gifts Team. B- The Ad Hoc Study Committee will also meet individually with Nominating Committee members to discuss any questions or concerns. It is possible that some members may feel very comfortable in their transition to the Spiritual Gifts Team, while others may not. Any member of the Nominating Committee who does not wish to continue serving on the Spiritual Gifts Team may opt out at this time. C- The Spiritual Gifts Team will: 1- Fill any vacancies in its membership that may have resulted from step B, above. 2- Identify literature, training materials, and other information aimed at helping Christians identify their spiritual gifts. 3- Working with the Minister of Education and Family Life, the team will lay out a training and education program to help Southview members complete a spiritual gifts inventory and to understand the various kinds of gifts of the Spirit. 4- Working with the pastor and the Ministry Staff, the team will identify a list of opportunities for church members to use their gifts in the Lord's service. These may be performed in our church, our association, our community, or even on the foreign mission field. D- The team will prayerfully consider the needs of our church and the gifts of our membership to help each individual find a place of service. E- As with the previous Nominating Committee, the team will be responsible for working with the pastor and Ministers to fill all vacant church officer positions with church members who are called and gifted for this service. 6.7 Steps to Revise the Church Constitution and By-Laws The changes recommended in this report are substantial and will require modifications to the Southview Constitution and By-Laws. To accomplish this update, the following steps should be followed: A- Select a committee to review the current Constitution and By-Laws and to edit them to incorporate the changes proposed in this report and approved by the church body. The committee should: 1- Solicit other recommendations and suggestions for change from the church body as a whole, as well as from the church staff, church officers, and the deacon body. 2- Prepare an annotated draft that clearly shows proposed additions, deletions, and modifications to the Constitution and By-Laws. 3- Disseminate the draft to the church membership for review and comment. 4- Prepare an updated draft incorporating feedback from the church body. 5- Engage an attorney to review and comment on the Constitution and By- Laws. 6- Incorporate the legal opinions of our attorney into the final document. 7- Disseminate the final draft of the Constitution and By-Laws to the church body. 8- Schedule a business meeting at least thirty days following the dissemination. 9- Present a motion to replace the existing Constitution and By-Laws with the amended version. B- Upon approval by two-thirds majority of the members present and voting at the church business meeting, the new Constitution and By-Laws will take effect. 6.8 Establishing Communications This report proposes dramatic changes in the organization and operation of our church. One of the keys to achieving these in a way that is pleasing to the Lord is that we ensure active, ongoing communication. That is one reason our committee feels so strongly that Southview needs a Communications Coordinator. But in addition we need to establish a variety of channels through which church members and leaders can communicate. To this end, we recommend that Southview should do the following:
  • Add to the attendance/decision slip a section through which members can suggest new ideas for consideration by the Vision Council or the Leadership Council.
  • Establish generic email addresses, such as VisionCouncil@Southview.ORG and LeadershipCouncil@Southview.ORG, so that church members can send new ideas or ask questions of the two councils.
  • Setup a suggestions box in the church foyer for individuals to submit ideas or questions.
  • Hold regular discussion groups and Town Meetings at which people can discuss their ideas and ask questions about church activities and programs. 6.9 Sequence of Activities The seven activities listed above can be performed in parallel. The top priorities should be electing the Vision Council members, selecting a Missions Director, and selecting a Communications Coordinator. Transitioning the Church Council and Nominating Committee to, respectively, the Leadership Council and the Spiritual Gifts Team should be relatively easy. Revising the Church Constitution and By- Laws may require the longest time. We do not have to change the Constitution and By-Laws before we can begin the other activities. SECTION 7 SUMMARY This report recommends approval and implementation of the following basic changes at Southview Baptist Church: - Restructure the Church Council as a Leadership Council - Select a Missions Director - Form a Vision Council - Redefine the Nominating Committee as Spiritual Gifts Team - Select a Communications Coordinator - Rename Committees as Teams - Empower Program Leaders - Provide Checks and Balances - Modify the Bylaws - Implement the Recommendations for a Trial Period