What does a leader look like?
Here is a guide to better define the role and life of a leader in God's Church.
GUIDELINES FOR LEADERSHIP
EUREKA FIRST CHURCH OF GOD
The purpose of these guidelines is to make it possible for each person in a Leadership role (hereafter referred to as Church Leaders- C.L.) to become familiar with the organization, objective, policies, and procedures of this church. As well as understand the parameters, privileges, and responsibilities of their work, to clarify relationships, and to minimize the ambiguities and uncertainties about ministries and relationships. The leaders included and referred to in these guidelines would include, but are not limited to the senior pastor, associate pastor, youth pastor, youth leaders, elders, deacons, deaconesses, worship team members, and teachers.
GENERAL INFORMATION (Section 1)
PERSONAL DEVOTIONAL LIFE
Our mission statement says that our goal and desire is to "Transform Lives by BEING the Body of Christ." Our personal walk with the Lord is paramount. We must first BE the people He desires us to be, before other lives will be impacted. Each C.L. is called by God to the ministry. That sense of call is kept fresh and alive by devotional disciplines, study of the Bible, and personal prayer under the direction of the Holy Spirit. C.L. are strongly encouraged to observe daily devotional times of prayer and Bible reading. Their personal walk with the Lord is of primary importance. C.L. are encouraged to seek accountability from another C.L. or someone from their ministry leadership team; such as other elders, deacons, or worship leaders.
C.L. will seek to model their Christian walk in the family setting. They are encouraged to nurture their family and spend quality time with them. Each C.L. is expected to take a day off each week as a "Sabbath rest" for personal relaxation and family enjoyment. Your commitment to your spouse and family must remain your number one priority after your relationship with Jesus Christ.
The leadership model of the Eureka First Church of God is a team concept of ministry. Our staff philosophy is based upon mutually respectful relationships that call for mutual trust, confidence and support. Loyalty to the Word of God, each other, and the congregation, necessary and grow out of one’s loyalty and devotion to Christ. Transparency, honesty, humility, and prayer for one another are encouraged among leaders. Complete loyalty to the Senior Pastor and other staff members is a must. All disagreements will be resolved by personal confrontation and kept within the staff. We will not allow the flock to divide us or draw us into power struggles. The staff must be positive toward all facets of ministry that the church is actively pursuing, both inside the church and in the community. Communication of the church’s mission, as well as personal goals and objectives should always be in the positive sense. It is hoped that Church Leaders would be friends, as well as co-workers in God’s field.
In the very nature of the ministry, a C.L. has access to a vast amount of information about persons, events, plans and activities. Some of this information is confidential and such confidentiality must be protected - absolutely.
It is recognized that a C.L. is ultimately accountable to God in the performance of ministry. The Senior Pastor is accountable to the Board of Elders and the Church as a congregation. Other staff leaders are accountable to the Senior Pastor as well as to the Elders. The Senior Pastor and the Elders will approve Job descriptions. Licensed and ordained staff persons are also accountable to the Montana Church of God of at-large through the General Assembly.
WORK SCHEDULES & ADMINISTRATION
Being employed by God is a very high calling and it requires a very high commitment to excellence. We expect full-time ministers to function as if God was with them every minute. We will not be babysitting but we expect all employees to do their jobs. Full-time C.L. Staff presently seek to work a 50-hour week as it relates to their ministry, with part-time staff as designated by the Elders, in addition to their normal Christian service. As professional Staff they are encouraged to adjust their work schedules to include a Sabbath day of rest. When ministry disrupts the weekly Sabbath, the C.L. Staff may adjust their schedule within the next week to observe their Sabbath. Good administration is crucial to effective ministry.
MINISTRY PLANNING AND REVIEW
The C.L., under the leadership of the Senior Pastor, is responsible for planning and goal setting in their respective areas of ministry. This planning and goal setting should conform to the Purpose & Core Values of Eureka First Church of God. These goals will be shared with the Senior Pastor on a yearly basis. The Senior Pastor shall meet at least quarterly with each associate pastor to assist him/her in strategic planning and the fulfillment of these goals. Attendance at all staff prayer times, staff meetings, and staff retreats are mandatory unless cleared by the Senior Pastor. Quarterly updates on ministry goals and progress are to be shared in written form to the Elders through the Senior Pastor one week prior to regular Elder meetings.
PERSONAL CONDUCT (Section 2)
The C.L. at Eureka First Church of God will be held accountable to the highest Biblical, ethical and moral standards of personal conduct. The intent of this policy is not to be legalistic, but to call each of us in leadership positions to be representative of Jesus Christ. As His people we bear His name. May we "wear" it with honor.
There are many Scriptures that would apply in this section, but as a general guideline, please consider the following:
I Corinthians 10:23-24, 31-32 (NIV): "Everything is permissible - but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible - but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others…. So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble…"
All forms of sexual misconduct, and every kind of sexual exploitation, deception, abuse, or harassment in pastoral, professional, or lay relationships are unethical. This includes relations where the sexual involvement is invited or informed consent presumably exists - such apparent consent is illusory and illegitimate. Forbidden sexual activities and deceptions include, but are not limited to: direct sexual touch or contact, seductive sexual speech or non-verbal behavior; solicitation of sexual or romantic relations; erotic contact or behavior as a response to the invitation or seductive behavior of any individual who we are ministering to; secretive sexual or romantic communications via telephone or internet; and sexual harassment by, touch, promises, or threats.
Use of pornography shall not be permitted. This is also considered sexual immoral and cause for discipline.
C.L. violating a sacred trust are subject to discipline. Sexual immorality is grounds for immediate dismissal with revocation of license or ordination.
Any violation of the sections on Personal Conduct or Sexual Misconduct of this manual may result in immediate termination or other disciplinary actions as determined by the Elders. The Senior Pastor may make recommendations to the Elders as to specific disciplinary actions he feels are warranted.
USE OF ALCOHOL
Alcoholism is a huge social problem in our country and especially in Eureka. It has devastated millions of individuals and their families. Alcohol abuse is strongly correlated with violence, crime, sexual indiscretion, and as a "gateway substance" to the use of other illegal substances. If a C.L. chooses to use alcohol in some minor form, we expect that there will be extreme caution exercised in terms of who is present, the amount consumed, and the potential for harm to self, family, the community, the Church, and to the Kingdom of God. Sensitivity to the possibility of causing another to stumble should always be first and foremost. There should be no consumption of alcohol in the presence of those who struggle with alcohol abuse (if you do not know, don’t drink alcohol in front of that person.) Use your judgment when in a private home, out of town, on vacation, etc. All church-sponsored activities will be alcohol-free.
It is expected that C.L. will lead the way in the area of giving to the Kingdom of God through tithing on their income. This is one of our core values and we need to provide leadership by example in this area. Every Church Leader should lead the way not only in tithing but also in an example of generosity to others with special offerings, donations, and benevolence projects. C.L. should be sensitive to God’s leading them to give.
People are influenced in their attitudes toward the church by the personal appearance of its leaders. Personal appearance should always be such that it is complimentary to the church.
Staff is asked to dress in an appropriate manner for the ministry task they will be doing that day. Business casual dress is to be considered the norm for official duties.
SERVANT LEADERS AGREEMENT WITH RULES OF OPERATION
In addition to these specific areas of concern, C.L. and lay leaders are required to read and agree to the Rules of Operation (by-laws). If a pastor is in violation of the leadership guidelines policy, the Scriptural guidelines spelled out in Matthew 18:15-17 will be followed.
EMPLOYMENT EXPECTATIONS/INFORMATION (Section 3)
REGULAR AND SPECIAL STAFF MEETINGS
Our staff prayer time and our staff meetings should be a priority in your weekly schedules. The Senior Pastor is ultimately responsible for regular and special meetings of the C.L., for clarifying and scheduling responsibilities, for discovering and meeting personal needs among the staff, and for all other aspects of administration that enhance the cooperative spirit and collegial relationships.
SALARY AND BENEFITS
Three areas are significant when considering pastoral compensation; salary/housing, benefits, and professional expenses. Professional expenses are those costs to staff that occur in the performance of their ministry. These include auto expenses, hospitality, and resource materials used in their respective ministries. Benefits are medical insurance, pension (10% of salary, housing, SS, taxes), or retirement programs. Salary/Housing/Social Security/Taxes is the combination of base salary and a pastor’s designated housing allowance and what he chooses to have taken out for Social Security and taxes. The tax-exempt allowance permitted by the IRS is honored. Each pastor is responsible for keeping adequate records and proper reporting.
The Elders are ultimately charged with the responsibility of formulation of the SALARY AND BENEFITS for the Staff with the recommendation of the Senior Pastor where appropriate. Eureka 1st Church of God calls highly gifted and capable leaders to serve in ministry and works diligently to provide comparable compensation.
Leaders are considered part-time when contracted for less than 30 hours per week. Medical benefits will not be offered to these individuals.
Vacation for Staff is based on their time in full-time Christian ministry. Full-time leaders with less than three years service in the ministry shall be entitled to two weeks annual vacation. Those having three or more, but less than six years service shall be entitled to three weeks vacation. Those having served for six to twenty-four years shall be entitled to four weeks vacation. Those serving 25 years+ shall be entitled to 5 weeks.
Staff is encouraged to take their vacation time each year. Vacation time is non-cumulative. A maximum of one Sunday is allowed for each full week of vacation. For purposes of accounting, a week of vacation is treated as five working days. When being used as single days, vacation time will be subtracted from a five-day vacation week.
Brief, but frequently intensive, opportunities may be available for Staff to engage in continuing education; usually these will be conferences, seminars, lectures, or conventions dealing with some aspect of one’s assignment in ministry. Such participation will be cleared in advance with the Senior Pastor and the Elders. Ten working days, exclusive of travel time, each year will be allowed for each Staff’s enrichment. If additional time is needed, the Staff must approve such with the Senior Pastor and Elders recommendation. However, more than ten days would be an exception in most cases. Continuing theological education for an accredited college, university, or seminary is commendable, but should not interfere with your assigned ministry and work schedule. These studies/pursuits are on personal time, along with your educational time allotment. When conflict arises, Senior Pastor and Elder approval is required.
PROFESSIONAL OUTSIDE ENGAGEMENTS (Service)
Staff may be invited to teach, preach, lead seminars, speak at conventions, and participate as leaders in similar events outside of their congregational responsibilities. Such invitations should be satisfactorily cleared with the Senior Pastor and Elders. The congregation is generally supportive in this regard and encourages our pastors to thus extend the ministries and influence of the Eureka First Church of God.
It is expected by the congregation that serious overlapping of absences will be avoided, and that the total amount of time away from Eureka for such professional speaking engagements will not exceed a total of ten working days, exclusive of travel time, for any pastor in any fiscal year.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE
If unusual circumstances indicate the need for a leave of absence, the proposal shall come from the Elders, including a recommendation regarding length and paid or unpaid status of the proposed leave. The Elders will grant final approval.
Individuals will be granted up to five days leave with pay for the purpose of attending the funeral of any member of their immediate family when travel is unnecessary. Additional time may be allowed upon approval of the Elders when individuals must travel from the immediate area. The phrase "of their immediate family" refers only to parents, grandparents, spouse, brothers, sisters, children or those of similarly close relationship by marriage or step relationships.
It is our hope that all our C.L. will have a long and happy ministry with our congregation. If a Senior Pastor decided to leave, sixty (60) days notice should be given to the Elders. Other staff pastors will also give a sixty (60) day advance notice of his or her intent to the Senior Pastor and the Elders. The 60-day notice can be waived by assent of the Elders.
We look upon the congregation and Church Leaders of our church not as two separate entities, but as one team working together toward a common goal. That goal is to shine as ambassadors of Jesus Christ; that lives would be truly transformed by us BEING God’s people – HIS Church. The Elders are comprised of leaders of the congregation who also work in harmony with our Staff and various ministries such as the work of the deacons & deaconesses, children’s workers, teachers, etc. We exist in Eureka, MT to advance the Kingdom of God, leading people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and helping them to become disciples. As such we have no time to be involved in dissension or power struggles. It is imperative that we trust one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. As such, C.L. and congregational members will be encouraged to develop their spiritual gifts to the fullest and employ them to serve Christ and this community to the very best of their ability. Accordingly, we are subject to one another and expect that the Body will be wise and discerning should disagreements arise. Under the leadership of the Holy Spirit and in accord with the Biblical instruction of Matthew 18, the church is well equipped to discipline and to nurture itself. By virtue of their call to ministry, great responsibility lies upon the shoulders of the Staff and Elders.
We must keep in mind, however, that the primary responsibility for the carrying out of the mission of the church rests not with the staff, but with each individual Christian. Eph 4:15-16
15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head-- Christ--
16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.(NKJ)
Our success in ministry to this community will be determined by the totality of our own personal dedication.
I have read the Manual for Ministry Leadership Team Members and agree to abide by the directives therein.
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Call us at 406-297-2941 for more information about our ministry.
We are located at 1295 2nd Ave East, Eureka, MT
Mailing: Po Box 347 Eureka, MT 59917