The design team is comprised of Pastor Aaron, Sandy Giordana, Jim Hewett, and Jim Spence. This team will be working on leading the congregation through its restructuring process.
The new Constitution has been approved and a board of directors selected. Click here to read the minutes from the voters' meeting.
Here are some Q & As regarding the changes that were made to the constitution
Here is the new constitution
Design Team Information Meetings
Here is a presentation given on 3.1.2015 that discussed the background and rationale for this structural change.
Here is a presentation given on 4.19.2015 that gave a review of the rationale for this structural change, an update on our constitutional revisions, and asked participants for input on our current and future operational structure.
This document was produced on June 24, 2009 by Rev. Dr. Pete Larsen who at the time was working for the Michigan District of the LCMS in guiding congregations through strategic planning. In it, he recommends that our congregation do work on our structure. Before working on the structure, we decided it was important to focus our vision of ministry first. This document was finalized in May 2013 as a proposal by the Vision Team that was adopted by our Church Council and Congregation. The work of restructuring is following the work that was done by the Vision Team.
Joint meeting of Boards and Church Council
A meeting was held on June 1st, 2015 with all of the current church Boards and Church Council to inform them about the restructure and what that means for their current positions. Minutes from that meeting are here.
Here is an archive of meetings the Executive Board (of the Church Council) had leading towards restructuring:
10.5.2014 - minutes from Special Voters' Meeting
12.22.2014 - Minutes from a special Church Council meeting voting to hire Kurt Bickel
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why are we restructuring, and why is it being done now?
A. Our church’s Vision is; “Alive in Christ…through Worship, Groups, and Community.” We want to be more effective in bringing as many people as possible, to be “Alive in Christ!” With a growing membership and increased budget, we’ve literally outgrown our existing structure.
Q. What will our new structure look like?
A. The structure we will be adopting is called the “aligned governance and operations” model. In this type of a structure, the roles of governance and operations are separated into two distinct bodies. The “governance” side is charged with developing the long term goals, strategic direction, and stewardship efforts of the church. The “operations” side is responsible for carrying out the activities to accomplish these goals. “Alignment” occurs when the church’s activities are focused on accomplishing the goals set forth by the congregation. When the operation’s activities “align” with the Vision, strategic direction, and long term goals and planning, our church will be in a position to more effectively achieve its Mission of bringing people to be “Alive in Christ!”
Q. Hasn’t our existing structure served us well for many years?
A. Yes, it has! It has served us very well, for many years. The goal of restructuring is to capitalize on what has served us well and do that even better and more effectively.
Q. Why are we adopting this structure and not considering other options?
A. The “aligned governance and operations model” has proven to be especially well adapted for use by churches and other not for profit organizations. The LCMS has approved this model for use in its congregations and it has a proven track record of success.
Q. What will happen to our existing Council and Boards?
A. Our existing Council will be dissolved and a governing panel called the Board of Directors will be formed. Current operational ministries that are covered by individual boards will fall under the Operations structure. Every essential activity will continue to be carried out through Operations Units. Through strategic planning, other activities will be prioritized and “aligned” with our long term goals, policies, and Mission. Some existing Boards will not exist in their current form and some Board’s functions may be combined into new Operations Units. The Board of Elders will be the least affected by restructuring and will continue to serve as an extension of the office of the Senior Pastor.
Q. Will we need to re-do (rewrite) our Constitution and By Laws?
A. Our Constitution and By Laws will be revised to meet the requirements of the new structure. The revised Constitution and By Laws will then be submitted to our church’s District Board of Directors for review and submitted to the congregation for approval.
Q. What is the function of the Board of Directors?
A. The Board of Directors sets strategic direction, long term goals, policy, and planning of our Mission. They will oversee the Senior Pastor, review, evaluate, refine, and revise policies as necessary, engage in member, denominational, District, LCMS, and community leadership dialog. The Board of Directors is also responsible for establishing the future direction of our church ministry.
Q. How will the Board of Directors be chosen?
A. The initial Board of Directors will be selected from nominations submitted by the membership and vetted by the Design Team and Senior Pastor on the basis of qualifications and willingness to serve. Subsequent Boards will be selected from submitted nominations and vetted by the existing Board members, as terms expire. The selections will be made in our church’s traditional manner, as laid out in the Book of Acts.
Q. Will this new structure place more demands on the Senior Pastor?
A. Yes and No. While the Senior Pastor will be taking on some new duties and oversight of Operations, the “aligned” structure model allows him to “work smarter, not harder.” With clear lines of authority and accountability, based on established policy guidelines, the Senior Pastor will be freed from dealing with unclear directives, redundant questions, and a host of activities lacking coordinated direction. He will ultimately have more time to focus on carrying out his ministry efforts.
Q. How does an “aligned structure” better define responsibilities and improve accountability?
A. By “aligning” Operations with long term goals, planning of the church’s Mission, and clearly set policies, Operational Units will have clearly established duties and responsibilities. Activities will be purposeful with clear objectives and timelines. With policy based guidelines, people will engage in focused activity, with straight lines of accountability and the ability to measure progress or the lack of progress toward their objectives.
Q. Does this type of structure put too much control in the hands of too few people?
A. No. The ministry of this church belongs to the congregation and its members. The will of God is paramount in all our planning and activities. It is important to know that the Board of Directors exists only at the behest of the congregation. The policies established within an “aligned” clearly define responsibilities and authority in concert with the Constitution and By Laws. The members of the congregation have the final word in all areas of the church’s ministry.
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