2019 FAMILY MEETING
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many [...] God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. [...] God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 18, & 24-27
2019 Keynote Outline:
A GUIDE TO CHURCH GOVERNANCE
What is the Purpose of Governance?
A “church” isn’t a building or a statement of doctrine: it is a gathering of Christian believers. It exists to give God glory by modeling the kind of love and hope its members find in Jesus, welcoming others into saving faith in him, and shepherding the people within the community in their own spiritual walks.
This process is meant to be organic: the writers of the New Testament of the Bible repeatedly refer to the church as a “body” composed of many distinct parts, each with their own role to play in the health and life of the collective. Among those parts, there are people who serve in specific roles of leadership intended to help maintain unity in the church body, promote spiritual growth and development, maintain adherence to Christian counsel and teaching, train others in the use of the gifts God has given them, and ensure that the church uses its energy and resources to be a blessing to others.
And all leadership should imitate the example set by Jesus: we lead one another in service, through service. This means leaders all need to be committed to the pastoral care of the community, and they each should be tasked with clear areas of oversight that match their own passions in ministry.
A model of governance is a tool we use to help ourselves act in alignment with these core principles: a church is a body of Christian believers; that body is composed of many members, each with their own purpose and gifts; and the leaders among those members are first and foremost servants who are eager and equipped to care for one another and encourage the body of the church towards healthy cooperation, greater love, and unceasing generosity.
How is Revolution Led?
Revolution has adopted a plural leadership model of governance. Our leadership team is composed of our Lead Pastor and six (6) Lay Leaders, each focused on a specific area of church life (see below). All leaders share responsibility in a seventh area of oversight: Pastoral Care, which Revolution defines as the responsibility church leaders have to provide sympathy, understanding, prayerful counsel, and meaningful aid to all members of their church body. Additionally, at least once each quarter, the entire team gathers to update one another on the needs and health of their areas of oversight, as well as to discuss any issues of leadership or governance which might affect more than one area, or the life of the church as a whole.
The Lead Pastor’s responsibility is to implement the vision of the church as it is given detail and form by the leadership team. The Lead Pastor is, as the title implies, a “leader,” and as the primary employee of the church, he/she is expected to make the work of the church his/her chief priority. However, the Lead Pastor does not make decisions unilaterally and is a co-equal participant in the leadership team.
We believe this model of governance best exemplifies the core principles outlined in the last section by valuing corporate participation, individual gifts and talents, and servant leadership.
What are the Roles of Lay Leaders at Revolution?
Each Lay Leader is responsible for investing intentionally in his/her area of oversight through prayer, serving as a “shepherd” to volunteers and team leaders under their care, and working with the Lead Pastor to ensure health.
The areas of oversight include:
Church Life: this area of oversight includes the encouragement of a healthy church culture that exists beyond Sunday gatherings and weekly groups and fosters genuine and meaningful friendships.
Community Engagement: this area of oversight includes the development and maintenance of meaningful relationships between Revolution’s community and the broader communities of Annapolis, including the communities of other local churches, local non-profit organizations, commerce, government, and the vibrant and diverse neighborhoods of our city.
Discipleship: this area of oversight includes the development, implementation, and improvement of a system for encouraging spiritual growth in the lives of those in Revolution’s community who are Christ followers, while also ensuring that there are safe spaces in our church community for people who have not made that commitment to Christian faith where they are able to safely ask questions and explore faith.
Finances: this area of oversight includes the development and implementation of an annual budget that rightly reflects the values of Revolution’s community, including a spirit of real generosity, a desire to have a meaningful and positive impact on our community, and a passion for introducing others to the hope that can be found in a relationship with Jesus.
Generosity: this area of oversight includes the maintenance of a fund for internal and external benevolence, as well as the pursuit of larger-scale events and initiatives that can allow Revolution to play a part in blessing the lives of everyone in our city.
Sunday Services: this area of oversight includes the creation, maintenance, and care of a welcoming environment where both Christians and non-Christians can gather to learn about Christian faith and experience corporate worship.
How Long Do Lay Leaders Serve?
Lay Leaders serve for a term of three (3) years. Lay Leaders can choose to leave their term early, in which case a replacement Lay Leader will be selected by the leadership team to complete the current term.
The selection process begins each fall in our annual Family Meeting when scheduled openings for the upcoming year are announced and the roles and responsibilities for those openings are reviewed. People interested in these roles are encouraged to speak with the leadership team, and a reasonable deadline for receiving completed applications is established. After all applications are received, the leadership team will begin interviews with candidates with the expectation that a final vote will be held prior to the first leadership team meeting in Quarter 1 of the following year.
Selected Lay Leaders will be announced to the church body prior to this first meeting of the leadership team, and a high value is placed on openness and transparency throughout this process.
What are the Requirements for Selection?
Lay Leadership positions will be open to any committed participants in our church community who express: 1) a desire to serve, 2) feel passionate about the specific area of oversight the position involves, 3) can demonstrate sufficient qualifications for expertise in this area, 4) and meet the requirements for leadership listed in the existing By-Laws, regardless of their sex. Lay Leadership positions are restricted to adults who both profess and model Christian faith.
Lay Leaders are intended to meet the same qualifications as those found among the members of the first Christian churches. These criteria are laid out by the apostle Paul in his letters to Timothy (1 Timothy 3:2-7) and Titus (TItus 1:6-9) and collected within the New Testament of the Bible. They can be summarized as follows:
We know this list can seem overwhelming. However, because we recognize that the work the Holy Spirit begins in us when we come into a saving faith in Jesus is both ongoing and its outcome is guaranteed (Philippians 1:6), we desire to have leaders in our church who are committed to Christian growth above all. We expect that the Lay Leaders of our church are prayerful, humble, faithful, and known by the kindness they extend to others. These qualities should lead our leaders to look even more like this list of criteria at the end of their terms than they do at the beginning!
What Makes This Model Exciting?
We believe that our new Leadership Team will be a tremendous blessing to Revolution’s community for three reasons:
First, by adopting this model, Revolution’s leadership is taking a major step towards transparency. One of the unfortunate realities of being a “church plant” is that your church is built from scratch: at the start, you don’t have internal leadership! So, to help provide direction, oversight, and support, most church planting organizations (including Stadia and Orchard Group, who both had a hand in planting Revolution in 2009) advise pastors to build a “Management Team.” This team is almost always comprised of people who are not in or from the community where the church is being planted, and the major cost of this leadership model is that it can feel “separate” from the life of the new church. In our own story, the Management Team served a vital role in supporting Josh and guiding Revolution with wisdom for several years, and over time, the members of that team from outside were slowly replaced by members from inside our church family. This has brought real understanding and intimacy to the way the team has led Revolution...but we believe it is now time to take the next step towards truly being a self-governing church. By restructuring our leadership around specific areas of oversight, and by making the process of selecting Lay Leaders part of our public rhythm, we are hoping to bring our governance at Revolution even further into the light: we want you to know who is leading, what roles they are playing, and what our plans are for the future of this church. We also want you to know that this church isn’t a building or a staff or a brand: it’s a community of genuine people, working together to create a place where people can belong, grow in their beliefs, and become who God has made them to be.
Second, we believe the specific areas of oversight for our Lay Leadership will bring focus to Revolution’s mission and help foster new approaches to the work of our church. One of the consequences of reducing our full-time staff to a single Lead Pastor is that it fosters a leadership culture where we try to do a lot of things adequately but lack the bandwidth to do many of them with excellence. Empowering Lay Leaders to pray for, dream about, and invest in specific areas of our church’s life will allow new ideas and energy to make their way into our church’s leadership. It will also relieve some of the burden and expectations that can fall on the Lead Pastor’s shoulders. And lastly, it will be an active reminder of our shared responsibility and authority in this church. The culture and mission of Revolution belongs to Christ, and by empowering Lay Leaders to pray over and focus on specific areas of oversight, we are taking a significant step towards living out what we believe.
Third, the transparency of this process and the specification of the areas of oversight will empower the people of our church. One of the problems we run into a lot in building church leadership is that the folks who are most interested in leading often have too little interest in the work of the church, and those who are most interested in the work of the church often have too little interest (or confidence) in leading. By focusing the roles in our Leadership Team around specific issues, we are hoping to inspire many people in our community who may not feel like “leaders” to take a step forward in an area they are passionate about. Even if the prospect of being in charge makes you nervous, if you love thinking about the experiences people have as they enter Germantown Elementary on Sunday mornings, from the parking lot to the coffee table to the lights or the style of music, then there is a place for you. If holding procedural votes makes you break out in hives but you are dead set on making sure Revolution is a church known for its generosity throughout Annapolis, then we want you to consider this team! Our Leadership Team model is meant to draw people based on the issues they care about, the passions God has inspired in them, and the gifts the Holy Spirit has equipped them with. It is a model that can empower us by reminding us that we are all integral parts of the body of the church. Where are your passions? What part have you been designed to play?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where Does Ultimate Authority Lie at Revolution?
Ultimate authority rests, first, in the person of Jesus Christ, and second, in God’s Word as revealed in Scripture. But you knew we would say that! So, how do these truths manifest in the local decision making in the body of the church of Revolution Annapolis? The local authority for the church’s vision, mission, and governance rests with the leadership team, of which the lead pastor is a part. Decisions relating to the execution of that vision and mission in the day-to-day life of the church are primarily under the lead pastor’s authority. Those kinds of decisions can include the hiring and dismissal of non-pastoral staff, as well as the allocation of church resources within the confines of the annual budget. Meetings of the leadership team are held at least once per quarter which allow the lead pastor to update the rest of the team about the day-to-day operations of the church and to provide everyone with an opportunity to collaborate on upcoming plans and challenges.
The focus in all of our decision making as a church is on living out the values of humility, transparency, and consensus in what we say and do. Although these values are sometimes difficult to apply in every single situation facing a church’s leadership, we are committed to keeping them in front of us at all times and striving towards them as a church body.
Are Women Encouraged to Serve as Lay Leaders?
Lay Leader positions are intended for any committed participants in our church community, including both women and men. We believe that our identity as human beings is rooted in our common Christian faith, in which there is “neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for [we] are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). We also believe that every Christian is blessed with particular talents, gifted with particular abilities in ministry, and equipped for a particular role in the body of the Church by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:12-27). This means that our focus in how we see one another and work together with one another is on what roles we have been uniquely equipped and called to play in the body of the church. Our hope is that everyone at Revolution can find the right place to invest and serve as we strive together to love God and love others.
If you have questions or are interested in further discussing the Scriptural foundations for our position, please set up a time to speak with Kenny Camacho (firstname.lastname@example.org) or any member of our Leadership Team.
How Often Can Lay Leaders Serve?
A Lay Leader’s term is three (3) years. After a Leader has served their term, they must take at least one (1) year off before applying to serve again. This is the case even if they are applying for a different area of oversight.
How Can I Express an Interest in Serving as a Lay Leader?
Please talk with Kenny or any member of the current Management Team. You can reach Kenny by email at email@example.com or by phone at 803.727.8500. After an initial conversation, you may be given an application packet to complete in preparation for an interview with the Management Team. Our hope is that all applications are in by the end of November and all interviews conducted by the beginning of January.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All God’s people here send their greetings. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
2 Corinthians 13:11-14
 Any Lay Leader position may be jointly held by a married couple; however, the couple would share the voting privileges associated with their position (i.e. - one position receives one integral vote, regardless of how many people are sharing the position).