“Living our faith through relationship”
1 A Leadership Team for RBC for 2016 and beyond
My vision for RBC is that we are released from any religious and controlling spirits, and begin to work for the extension of the Kingdom of God. We are God’s handiwork, created to do good works in Christ. It is time we started living this truth out. I believe this begins by a foundational change in how we relate as members of Christ’s body. This begins with the leadership.
a. How will we treat each other?
Love: By this shall all men know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
Unity: Where there is unity the Lord commands a blessing.
We will grow these two foundational attributes by (among other things) living out the following:
Authenticity: Ephesians 4:22-24. That is, authenticity in the Church is the quality of our exposure of brokenness and adornment in God's grace. An authentic person is one who is both privately and publicly putting off the old self and, by God's grace, putting on the renewed self.
Humility: Philippians 2:3-5. “...in humility consider others better than yourselves... Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ...”
Vulnerability: Psalm 51. “Create in me a clean heart, Oh God; and renew a right spirit within me.” We acknowledge we are each sinners in need of a saviour.
Accountability: Galatians 6. We will bear one another’s burdens, and gently correct each other.
It is my view that our future rests on building teams of people at every level of our church who will embrace these foundational attributes toward, with and for each other.
b. The Teams and their broad mix
With this in mind, here are the teams I believe are essential for growing this part of the body, and their purpose.
Elders. Men and women who will gather to pray, and to promote the place of the Word. They will govern the church, not manage it: keeping the PTL accountable for the overarching vision we have been called to.
In 2016 we need to build, train and prepare our eldership to be an effective governance body, and ensure we are preparing new blood.
I believe our eldership team has been too small. It is timely to revisit this, and ensure that the 2016 team and beyond comprise 5-7 men and women of faith.
In electing 3-5 elders to join Colin Renouf, I believe we should also signal to the church the need to prepare/ grow possible future elders. Who they are is not the issue at this time – though I believe we need to start 2016 actively looking to groom people for the future. The key is ensuring we prepare new blood, bringing through men and women who embrace out vision and embody our ‘culture’.
(Note: this was achieved on 27 February, when we elected Nigel Carter, Ian Fowler, Christine Garratt and Phil Garratt to join the eldership.
At the end of 2016 we will look to add one more elder.)
Ministry Leaders. Men and women who will gather together to implement our overarching vision.
In 2016, we need to develop a ministry team model, eliminating silos and ensuring that the Ephesians 4 paradigm is embodied in every aspect of our church’s life.
A united team, a comment catch-cry, and a connected set of relational values will direct the church forward in 2016, to becoming a healthier and more effective ‘kingdom of God’ focused community of faith.
The ministry teams should cover the following areas. Change can occur of course: new ones being added, some being combined, etc. However for 2016 this is the grouping we should develop, implement, and finance.
Ephesians 4, Children Youth, Worship, Discipleship, Life Groups, Prayer, Together Korean Fellowship, Administration, Oak Development Trust.
One key change is to note a ministry I have called ‘Ephesians 4’. This is an essential paradigm we wish our church to embrace. I believe to do so requires more than simply stating its value. We need to ‘give it legs’. I propose that Ross oversees the development of a plan and a team to make this desire a reality in our church.
Another essential point is that each ministry overlaps with others (just as we seek to be a church of overlapping communities). Ministry plans now all begin with a requirement that a ministry leader is first and foremost a member of the ministry leadership team: working together to implement our vision, under the authority of the PTL and overseen/ governed by the eldership.
Ministry Leaders will also be tasked with ensuring that the priority in the ministry plans for 2016 is “Living our faith in relationship”: the catch cry for the church that was effectively de-railed by a number of events and spiritual challenges over the course of 2015.
Building and Finance Committee. Men and women who will be good stewards of the physical resources God has placed at our disposal to implement our overarching vision.
In 2016, we need to establish a building and finance committee which will oversee the financial and physical resources of RBC.
One of the issues in 2015 is concerns over the effectiveness of our stewardship of the financial and physical resources God has given us. The task of using the resources is primarily in the hands of the various ministries. The task of overseeing the link between vision and resources is the Ministry Leadership Team. The task of holding that group strategically accountable is a governance one for the Eldership.
However there is a risk in the latter point that Eldership moves from governance into management. To ensure accountability and maintain boundaries, I suggest the re-creation of a building and finance committee. Meeting at least monthly, their task will be to ensure our resources are being maintained/ managed appropriately. This includes especially the buildings.
The teams-based approach means that we need a team, not one-two individuals.
Extended Eldership. Men and women who will undergird all we do toward our overarching vision with an Ephesians 4 paradigm.
In 2106, we will ensure this group plays a stronger role in RBC life.
2 Re-engaging with Our Defining Objectives
- We established these some time ago, and it is time to return to them. Our teams, and our church, need to commit to these, and to the relational paradigm of love and unity outlined above.
- The Trinitarian nature of our God will increasingly be seen in the quality of our relationships.
- Jesus Christ will become increasingly central to all aspects of our individual and collective lives.
- We will intentionally nurture people in their transformational faith journey.
- We will focus on relational evangelism and discipleship.
- The kingdom of God will extend by us helping people to become more aware of and utilising their giftings and skills. (Note: this is to be done in the context of an Ephesians 4 paradigm).
3 Implementing the Ministry Plans of the Various Ministries
We will ensure that every ministry area has a plan that: evinces our vision, mission and defining objectives; includes building and training effective teams, and; is supported to see the objectives of each ministry area being met.
2016 will be a year of change. We have created a new ministry – prayer. And I have suggested that Ross Bartlett create a ministry plan for the Ephesians 4 paradigm. In addition, we will need a new Children’s Church Ministry Leader, as well as appointing a new Life Group Ministry Leader.
(Note: As of 1 July 2016 this has changed, as Ross Bartlett has accepted a call from Hope Centre Lower Hutt to move there and join their leadership team on a more focused basis. We will continue to grow this ministry/ direction, but under the PTL’s guidance.
To this end, even more than usual, I believe we need to ensure that teams not simply provide a plan for the sake of a plan, but one that we will assist them to implement. These plans need to engage with the church’s vision, mission, and have measurable components that accord with our defining objective.
I have attached a sample plan (appendix A), covering Life Groups. I am certain that input from others will enhance it. However it is essential that ministry plans not be done ‘by committee’: the primary purpose for input from the Eldership/ Ministry Leadership Team is to ensure that the plans are relevant to our setting (vision, mission, etc) and then that we hold the ministries accountable and support them as they seek to implement them.
In year one (2016) I propose we move to employing a Children and Family Worker. This area of our church is critical if we are to thrive relationally, missionally, and in conjunction with our church’s DNA of reaching community children. I propose that by September 2016 we approve and advertise the creation of this role as a paid one.
In year two (2017) I propose we take the second step: appointing a paid Life Group and Pastoral Care Co-ordinator. In Acts 6 the Apostles were set free to focus on their calling: preaching and teaching. At RBC our PTL needs to be set free for his calling: preaching, vision casting and building community connection.
4 Connecting across teams and with the Church
In 2016 the elders and ministry team leaders will gather at least quarterly for prayer and assessment of how we are doing.
In 2016 the new eldership will hold at least one weekend retreat for prayer, fellowship, and visioning for the future.
In 2016 the Ministry Leadership Team will meet weekly as a team.
In 2016 the Ministry Leadership Team will gather for a strategic session at least one day per quarter.
In 2016 the Elders will lead at least three ‘Engage’ sessions with members, in addition to the more formal Members’ Meetings
5 The Teaching Structure for 2016
In 2016 we will use the Book of Acts as our primary biblical resource.
We have been described at various times as effectively a new church. We are also consciously starting a new way, leaving behind a period of significant strife and challenge. We also wish to be a Holy Spirit-led and inspired church. Given all of this, it seems sensible to me for us to take the book of Acts as our foundational teaching/ proclaiming/ discipleship book for 2016. We will not simply teach through it, but rather allow our preachers and discipleship team to inspire and lead us into being a new church by learning afresh the lessons of the early days of the church.
6 The Role of the PTL in the Wider Community
In 2016 the PTL will step out in his other gifting/ calling: connecting and influencing in the wider community, with a view to developing overlapping connections between RBC and the community in Riccarton and beyond. In this context, the paid aspect of the role will reduce to 0.8 from October 2016. This may change in future iterations of the outworking of our vision, but this is the right step at this time for RBC.
Note: the funds released by this move will enable RBC to fund the appointment of the Children & Family Worker from the end of 2016.
7 Together Korean Community
In 2016 we will develop and implement a vision to release Chang Hun Yu to grow a Sunday afternoon Korean Fellowship connected with RBC. As part of this, Chang Hun Yu will be put forward as an Associate Pastor within the BUNZ under RBC.
(Note: as at 7 August, this has been achieved, with the official launch of TKF and the formal induction of Chang Hun Yu as a Baptist Pastor.
Chang Hun Yu and the PTL will work together to ensure cross-group ministries (youth, children, pastoral, community engagement) all work collaboratively.)