As Christians, we are led by Jesus in our personal lives, and also in our corporate life as a church. Jesus is the Chief Shepherd, and we serve under Him.
So, as Jesus sovereignly oversees the ministry of the church, how are practical decisions made at Disciples Church? What is the process, and who is involved? The following are the arenas where ministry is overseen...
Missional Community Groups
The main thrust of what we do as a church happens within the context of our Missional Community Groups. Each group is led by mature Christian people who have a desire to see those in their group grow in their faith in Christ. These leaders are equipped for their role by pastors, and answer to the Elders.
Working alongside the Lead Pastor is a team of staff who have various roles and responsibilities within the life of the church to lead, train and equip people for ministry. Our staff are a mix of paid, bi-vocational and volunteer workers who are committed to seeing Disciples Church established in Greater Springfield.
All major decisions and policy direction are made by the Elders of the Church. All the Elders form what is called the Elders Council. From this group, a smaller group of up to nine Elders are appointed to serve on the Board of the Church. This Board meets monthly and oversees things like finances, membership applications and resourcing future vision. The Elders on the Board serve a term of three years. All Elders are actively involved in ministry and will usually be leading a Missional Community Group.
We see the role of a Deacon is primarily to administer physical aid to people within the congregation, and also on behalf of the congregation. We have established a Deacons Fund for this purpose. In the New Testament, Deacons were appointed when this task became too great for the Elders to handle. While there is a provision in our church constitution for the appointment of Deacons, at this point in the development of Disciples Church we have not yet needed to appoint anyone into this role.
There is at least one Congregational Meeting each year (but sometimes more) where Members of the Church come together to hear a report from the Elder Board on the activities of the Church and pass any decisions that need to be made by Members. These sorts of decisions are detailed in the Constitution of the Church.