Leadership Structure

We’re one year old and we’ve just finalized our bylaws.  We’re still in the process of installing people.  Before describing our leadership structure, let me give you a couple of principles that guided us.

1.  Structure should be simple.  Your bylaws don’t have to describe everything you do in detail, but they describe what you must do.  So be careful with your words.

2.  Structure should be invisible and streamlined.  Somebody compared them to pipes in a house…they are valuable, but you don’t want to see them.  They go inside the walls.  Your structure should also be simple enough to allow you to accomplish things in a timely manner.  We were able to add a third service in less than 2 weeks because our structure allowed for it.

3.  Accountability is a Biblical principle and a good thing.  So is trust.  It’s just good leadership to keep smart, Godly people around you to guide decision making.  Just because I am the Lead Pastor doesn’t mean I have the freedom to mess up people’s lives.  Good decisions come from good counsel.  I trust the guys on my team and run lots of things by them.

So with that said, here’s our structure, as described in our bylaws.

1.  We are a staff led church.  I am the Lead Pastor, and am the only one that can hire and fire staff.  The Lead Team is composed of some staff people and we meet once a week.  Our Lead Team members meet the Biblical requirements of an Elder.  I don’t make big decisions alone, and we model the core value of teamwork in these meetings.  I choose to lead the staff through the leadership of our Executive Pastor, and then through the Lead Team.  We don’t have a bunch of committees who talk about ministry – we have a whole bunch of people who do ministry.

2.  We have a Board of Directors that I am accountable to.  These are pastors and leaders from other churches.  I respect these guys.  They have the best interest of me and our church in mind.  They love Jesus, and they will not let me do stupid things.  They have the ability to fire me.  They review our annual report and financial statements.  Again, our Board must meet the Biblical requirements for being an elder.

3.  We have a finance team that helps me and the Executive Pastor and the Lead Team set the budget.  They also look at money coming in and money coming out to make sure it’s being spent appropriately.   It’s another level of accountability.   They do not approve individual check requests and purchases…that’s what a budget is for.

Our church is not a voting church.  We do not even vote on the budget.  The finance team, lead team and Board of Directors approves our budget.  The church would vote on a new Lead Pastor, and that’s it.  Just as biblical accountability is a principle, so is trust.  We’ve set up a system where nobody could run off with all the money and do whatever they want, but it’s a system that allows for maximum amount of ministry with little red tape.  We ask our people to trust us, and we don’t take that for granted.

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1 comment so far

  1. smurrell on

    helpful. i’ll link so my team can read. thx.


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