Structuring Councils In The Uss For MissionPresentation Transcript
It is an insight of Lutheran theology that governance in the Church serves mission.
No single form of governance is essential or mandated by God or the sacred Scriptures.
The purpose of governance in the church is to contribute to the proclamation of the Gospel and the furtherance of its mission in and to the world.
Oversight is of pure proclamation and right administration.
Jim Collins, Stanford University in Good to Great and the Social Sectors:
“ We must reject the idea—well-intentioned but dead wrong—that the primary path to greatness in the social sectors is to become ‘more like a business.’ Most businesses—like most of everything else in life—fall somewhere between mediocre and good. Few are great.”
They will be servants as our Lord is a servant.
They will be servants of the Gospel.
They will serve the Gospel’s mission to the world.
They will be servants of our Lord’s oversight of his church for the sake of pure preaching and the right administration of the Sacraments.
How effectively does your council serve
your congregation’s mission,
the church’s mission,
and make a distinctive impact,
relative to the congregation's resources?
The congregations of the Upper Susquehanna Synod should make such a unique contribution to their members and the communities in which they live, and should do their work
with such unadulterated excellence
that if they were to disappear,
they would leave a hole
that could not easily be filled.
deliver exceptional results over a long period time, beyond any pastor or other individual leaders and beyond even a great idea.
When they face set-backs, it should rise from the dead even stronger for the sake of its mission.
Congregations have little power:
They cannot force their members to change.
They cannot force pastors to become missional leaders.
They cannot force their council members to be better leaders.
Which has the power of language, which is to say the Word.
The power of a shared mission.
The power of committed, faithful leaders, both clergy and lay.
We have the power of being ONE church
with ONE mission
under ONE Lord
who has invited us to participate in his divine life through ONE baptism,
making US his brothers and sisters, children of his Father,
and sustaining us with his Word and his Sacrament.
Most Councils Current Structure:
Type 1 Governance focuses on Fiduciary Responsibilities
To prevent theft, waste, or misuse of resources;
To ensure that resources are used effectively and efficiently;
To safeguard the mission against both unintentional drift and undefined shifts in purpose;
To review the work of staff.
The agendas in Type 1 Governance reflect the priorities of this style of governance:
Reports from officers Approval of budgets Reports from Committees Adoption of policy statements
Such governance is largely reactive rather than proactive.
Such councils add much to the technical core of the organization but not much to its core purposes, its mission.
The problem often is that such work, while essential, becomes predictable and perfunctory, as well tedious and monotonous.
Council members often feel like spectators rather than participants.
… a new direction in governance.
that the Council should replace the pastor and other leaders;
that the Council imposes its vision on pastors or other leaders;
but rather that they see their mission as a shared mission.
Pastors, leaders and council collaborate in the development and implementation of the mission that is theirs.
The council becomes a “sounding board” for the pastor and others as they address “sticky” situations.
Ideas to address mission are shared with the Council before they come to them for approval as policy or as information—
not in a legalistic manner (all matters must come to the council first)–
but as a way to share in strategic planning and the generative thinking process.
Perfunctory but essential issues are provided to the council prior to the council meeting,
i.e. Transfer of members, the youth group’s trip to Gettysburg, and other matters not likely to require discussion.
Any issue that any single member of the council desires to discuss can be removed from the consent agenda without debate.
This would require the Council to read!
The necessary assumption is that the Council accepts its responsibilities.
Use the Executive Committee to review such matters and report them in their minutes.
Any issue could be discussed under the Committee’s report and overridden when and if appropriate.
Approval of the Executive Committee’s Minutes would be an approval of their actions.
No fiduciary action taken by the Executive Committee would be implemented until after the Council meeting.
Only those matters needed for the Synod to function between Council meetings would take effect immediately.
Committee reports could be provided in writing and sent to Council members prior to the Council meeting.
Only matters that use the Council as a sounding board or as a resource are discussed at the Council meeting ,
as well any matters reported in writing that a Council member desires to discuss.
One portion of every meeting would be spent discussing a matter(s) of strategic or missional importance.