Council Chat-Chapter 1

Council Chat-Chapter 1

So you want to be engaged and well informed about your church, but perhaps you find the idea of attending regular monthly Church Council meetings about as much fun as watching paint dry? Sure, you can read the minutes, but meeting minutes are primarily a record of action taken. They don’t really give you a sense of how leadership is thinking or the spirit in which we are working. So what’s a curious congregant to do?

As it happens, your current Council Chair (yours truly), happens to enjoy writing. I’ve been actively blogging since 2009, and I’d like to help fill some gaps by blogging on behalf of Council this year. I will try to give a fuller sense of what we talk about, our goals, our hopes and dreams, the ways we feel like God is leading us as a unique church body, and maybe shed some light on the way we govern in all its earnest and messy glory.

Some caveats:

  • Writing is a gift and interest of mine personally. My successors may or may not share this interest, so I am only committing myself (not future Council members) to this particular form of communication for the next year.
  • I will be as honest and transparent as I can. Discretion and good sense may place some boundaries on what I can discuss, especially considering that this blog lives on the World Wide Web and is visible for anyone and everyone to see. What happens on the internet, stays on the internet – forever.
  • Opinions expressed in “Council Chat” are my own, and I will inevitably say something that makes someone mad. If that’s you, please take it up with me first. Let’s avoid assumptions, generalizations and/or blaming the Council, Pastor, or staff when most likely I’ve just said something dumb.
  • We welcome comments, as in constructive discourse, but we will not allow personal attacks, rude or offensive language, or general meanness. Such comments will be deleted. Keep it classy, y’all.

I considered a monthly update after each Council meeting, but I think that will be too much to try and cover, and too much for you to digest in one sitting. So how about we shoot for a weekly post that will cover enough to get you a whole meeting’s worth of goodness over the course of the month?

This month, I’ll need to get you up to speed on both October and November meetings. October was our first meeting of the new Council. Your Church Council includes:

  • Molly Fulton, Chair
  • Laurie Brock, Secretary
  • Ed Drake
  • Sims Wright
  • William Feight
  • Jason Bird

The October meeting included the Council members, Pastor Ben, Aaron (our church administrator), our new Children’s Minister Susan Hineman, and most of our committee chairs. I felt like it was really important to get as much of the leadership team in the room as possible, and I’ll tell you, it’s quite a group. I call them the “Dream Team” because this is an amazing group of committed, competent, Jesus-lovin’ folks that you have serving. My vision and my mantra for 2015 is for a positive, productive, and drama-free year. Yes, it is possible!

Next week I’ll share more about an exercise we used to visualize Effort’s role, reputation, and relationship to our community. It was exciting to see the extent to which we shared the same thoughts about Effort’s strengths, priorities, challenges, and direction. Aren’t you excited to be a part of what God is doing through Effort?

In His service,