Responsibilities of Church Leadership Teams
excerpt from Where Jesus Leads: Helping Christian Communities to Follow, pages 305-306.
Church leadership teams customarily conduct the following activities:
1. Support unity and love
“Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34) “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)
2. Discern the church’s mission and purposes
This means asking, “What is God calling us to do and to accomplish here in this place?” and “How can we best practice this ministry?” to clearly articulate the unique mission of the congregation to respond to God’s calling in the world. This includes identifying the populations, communities, or areas the congregation is called to serve and defining the congregation’s goals.
3. Ensure effective planning
The leadership teams develop a depth of knowledge of the communities being served; review and approve staff and ministry team plans to accomplish congregational goals; understand and question the assumptions upon which the plans are based; and help strengthen the plans to realize progress toward the goals.
4. Determine, monitor, and strengthen the church’s programs and services
The leadership teams introduce, alter, or eliminate programs as needed to involve gifted individuals in fulfilling the congregation’s mission and regularly monitor results to evaluate whether plans are being achieved and operations are being properly managed.
5. Select, monitor, evaluate, compensate, support, and—if necessary—replace the ministry leaders, and ensure management succession
6. Provide proper financial oversight
The leadership teams review and approve the church’s financial objectives, plans, and actions, including significant capital allocations and expenditures.
7. Ensure adequate resources
8. Ensure legal and ethical integrity and maintain accountability
The leadership teams ensure that the church has in place systems to encourage and enable ethical behavior and compliance with laws and regulations, auditing and accounting principles, and its own governing documents.
9. Recruit and orient new board members and assess board performance
Leadership teams assess their own effectiveness in fulfilling these and other board responsibilities.
10. Enhance the church’s witness and reputation
Leadership teams serve as models for Christian community, mutual ministry, and open communication, especially constructive criticism and feedback.
Adapted from Ten Basic Responsibilities Of Nonprofit Boards (BoardSource, 2003) and The Report of the NACD Blue Ribbon Commission on Director Professionalism (National Association of Corporate Directors, 2005).