Origin and Composition
In May 2016, the Session authorized the formation of a Vision Task Force, a team drawn from existing church leadership boards, the Pastoral Nominating Team, and some members-at-large. This team spent fourteen months reading, reflecting, praying, and emerged with a new Vision Statement and thirteen Vision ‘imperative’ statements that would define and limit the work of the church in the years ahead. (See ‘Appendix’ for the list of these statements). This work was ratified by the Session in August 2017.
Having established the vision of the church’s future ministry, it was proposed by the Senior Pastor that a new Task Force be formed to devise a way to implement these vision imperatives across church ministries. This new team—The Ministry Team Restructuring Task Force—would examine and review the existing ministry team structure and make a recommendation to the Session as to a possible way forward. In January 2018, the Session authorized the formation of such a task force.
After soliciting names of possible members from the Session, the following team was nominated and assembled.
- Janeen Reigle
- Peggy Anderson
- Ann Marie Van Duyne
- Emily Rossmaessler
- Charlotte Forr
- Harold Grant
- Carol Hostetler
- Pam McCarthy
- Betty Harris
- Paul Ytterock
- Joseph Novak
The team held its first meeting on Monday, February 5, 2018. It has met weekly for the past twelve weeks.
The MTRTF’s scope of inquiry consisted in the strategic organization of the church’s ministry teams. Some of the leading questions we asked along our way were:
Why change our current structure? What are its deficiencies or weaknesses?
Why have ministry teams at all?
If we have ministry teams, what teams are mission-critical for the realization of our church’s vision?
What values do we have for future ministry teams?
What is the role of the Session in providing church leadership in these ministry areas?
How does the work of the Session direct and inform the work of the Deacons and Trustees?
What expectations should be placed upon those elected to serve as Elders? Deacons? Trustees?
What role does the church staff play in the work of our ministry teams?
How often should ministry teams meet?
What gaps or bottlenecks do we have in our current workflow?
How do we increase the collaboration, communication, recruitment, and engagement among our ministry teams and to the congregation-at-large?
What impact would a restructuring proposal have on the church budget?
Are there any staff positions we might need to develop in order to more expediently achieve our vision?
What follows is the report from the Ministry Team Restructuring Task Force. In the eleven weeks we met together, the MTRTF set out to better align our church’s approach to ministry with our vision and mission as a congregation. This process resulted in an exciting and comprehensive renovation of every structural foundation of ministry at FPCF.
Our task began with the official list of fifty-one (51) mission and ministry teams (last approved in 2006), many of which were defunct for one reason or another. In our first meeting, we set these teams aside completely and asked one question:
If we were a new church and we only had a list of the vision statements before us, what teams would we need?
As we began to answer this question, and as we sketched and charted out purpose statements and team emphases for a new set of ministry teams, we developed a five-fold set of value criteria for this new proposal. If this new system is to work, it must embody the following core values:
Communication. Teams must practice good communication with one another, with the Session, with the Staff, and, most crucially, with the congregation. As co-leaders of the church, we want to know and be excited about what is going on, and we want the congregation to know and be excited about it also.
Collaboration. We are not a loose archipelago of independent nation-states each operating apart from one another. If we are to move forward and grow as a church, we must practice collaborative dependency upon one another. We have built into our system intentional “venn-diagram” moments of cross-team collaboration. This is especially true in how Elders, Deacons, and Trustees relate to one another.
Engagement. We recognize that member engagement on our ministry teams is not where we would like it to be. We envision a reality where new members and those wanting to get involved will be approached regularly with invitations to use their time, talent, and treasure in the life of the church.
Recruitment. We want to see purposeful, personal, and concrete engagement happening in every ministry area of the church. Thus, with little exception, every ministry team will have a responsibility to find and recruit members-at-large from the congregation to serve on their team.
Growing ‘Young’. Without excluding or reducing ministry to our older adult members, we are proposing the formation of ministry teams with a mandate to conscientiously reach out to younger members of the church (15-35) to offer them opportunities for leadership and participation in all ministry areas.