CliffsNotes – June 11, 2019

Who evaluates the Board: Part 4

Week 1 in this series about healthy local organizations we discussed board evaluations. Week 2 was about Nominating Committee. Week 3 was about board covenant. I have been pointing you to The Manual, and have pointed out that our Manual wisely offers you opportunity to contextualize your organizational structure within clear parameters. Today let’s ask, “What about a pastor cabinet?”

Those who know me, know I am no fan of a cabinet. It is true that some of you have felt it to be a great help in your ministry. Carry on. If you, however are in a season of building or rebuilding your institutional structure then please consider the following alternative. (At the last General Conference there was discussion regarding a motion about Pastor’s Cabinet – this is currently being reworked and will be presented at General Conference 2020). The Manual currently says:


¶373.2.6 Pastor’s Cabinet

The Pastor’s Cabinet is made up of members of the society, nominated by the Nominating Committee, elected by the society for the purpose of making ministry more effective.  It may be elected by the society as a separate committee.  The society may also assign the responsibility of choosing the pastor’s cabinet to the official board.  In the latter case, the official board may designate several of its members to serve the functions of a pastor’s cabinet.

The pastor’s cabinet will assist the pastor by meeting with the pastor as a prayer cabinet, receiving recommendations and concerns arising from the congregation and reflecting on them with the pastor, and receiving recommendations and concerns from the pastor and offering support and counsel to the pastor. 

The members of the pastor’s cabinet need to be mature, trustworthy individuals who can be entrusted with sensitive and confidential information.


My personal preference is that you would work towards developing a board that will also encompass cabinet functions. Pastors and boards I recommend that you pursue the creation of a board that is united, supportive, takes time to listen, courageous, and prayerful. Make the board the place of exploring new ideas and healthy church family relationships.  Why can’t members simply approach board members? Why can’t the board pray with the pastor? Why can’t the board offer support and counsel? Pastors already have a Network and an accountability partner. Why another meeting, or level of government or potential bureaucracy? A streamlined healthy structure does not require a cabinet. Having said that, there is an important piece of the organizational puzzle that will make all the difference in not having a cabinet: Personnel Team.

A Personnel Team is a ministry team designed to help the Lead Pastor oversee staff paid and volunteer. A healthy Personnel Team protects the pastor from having to handle all staff / volunteer conflict, and actually frees the pastor from some personnel (or human resource) administration. The Team has a BOA rep, the pastor, and 2-3 members who are gifted in the area of human resources (i.e. interviewing potential new staff, conflict resolution, coaching, performance appraisals, etc). Click here to view the current Ministry Center Personnel Team job description. Remember that it is my goal to develop a relevant governance model that local churches can also apply to their own contexts, within the parameters of The Manual. I am introducing this now so that there is plenty of time prior to General Conference to discuss before it comes to the floor. To be clear, the intention is not to get rid of Pastor’s Cabinet but to offer an alternative in the form of a Personnel Team/Committee. For our pastors who have Pastor’s Cabinet and have seen the value and benefit of it, please continue.

This past weekend we were in Kingston for the final Regional Gathering. An important friend in my life just asked me to reflect on the overall 12 week Regional Gathering experience. Very positive! I mean over the past 12 weeks each local FMCIC has been challenged to have a very courageous and prayerful conversation about CONFESSION. Imagine leaders confessing to the Father and acting to resolve any sin in “their camp”?! I asked leadership teams to pray through their sanctuaries for instance and confess that they have been aware that for years “Joe” who sits on this side of the sanctuary has not spoken to “Bob” who sits on this side… Imagine a fully up to date confessed and cleaned FMCIC!!

We also introduced at Regional Gatherings “FMCIC culture” changes: PRAYER TEAM, BOA accountability initiatives (including smaller BOA, in camera sessions, evaluation, covenant, a new reporting structure, re-defined Personnel Committee, the Bishop election process), TEAMS, COACHES, NEW LEAF, LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT and brave task forces (asking about our relationship to the LGBTQ community and engaging women in ministry).  And I LOVED the opportunity to meet and be with so many of you – thanks for hosting me, for your friendships.

On Sunday Karlene and I were with the Harrowsmith church family as they celebrated 100 years! They told the story about the pioneer church planters who experienced great resistance to a new church in town – tomatoes and threats were literally thrown at these brave men and women. Today they are celebrating 23 new people in Christ in the past few months through their church family! Thank You Father for Your love and stirring in and through the Harrowsmith FM church family!



Church Health Thursdays – We The Church:
News & Stories Blog – Who’s Reading What in 2019 – Mary Lee DeWitt :
the conneXion – a Free Methodist theology blog: 3 Minute Theology 2.5: Knowing the Bible Inside Out:
New Leaf Network: Learning Party stories – Andrew Benson:
Faith and Finances Website:


Harrowsmith 100th Anniversary

Pastor Keith Deyo – approved as a Ministerial Candidate and appointed as Assistant Pastor at Kingston West FMC, Kingston, ON, effective June 7


Ordination and Commissioning Services 

Belinda Leibel – Commissioning Service at Northview Community Church, Regina, SK – September 22, 2019 at 5:00 pm


Register online through the link above

Lay Ministers tracking for credentialed ministry and those transferring ordination credentials into the FMCiC need to take the following two courses for full credit – and if possible, the Heart course first and then Wesleyan Theology.

Heart of Canadian Free Methodism:
November 1-3, 2019 – western Canada-location TBA*

Cours sur le Coeur du Méthodisme Libre Canadien
12 au 14 juillet 2019 à Montréal à l’Église Méthodiste Libre de St-Henri

Wesleyan Theology:
October 25-27, 2019 – Holt Free Methodist Church, Mount Albert, Ontario
(also available online through FMC-USA:

Ministerial Candidates tracking for Commissioned or Ordained Minister are required to take the following two courses for full credit.  Those who are already commissioned or ordained are required to either audit these two courses for 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) each or take the two courses and complete the assignments for 3 CEUs each.

Culture and the Missional Church:
Western Canada course starts October 7 (deadline to register – October 1)
Part One: Oct 7-31 – advance online engagement
Part Two: Nov 1-2 – two-day in-person class at Lakeview Free Methodist Church, Saskatoon, SK

Personal and Church Stewardship:
5-week online course (FRENCH) – start date – TBA
6-week online course (ENGLISH) – start date – TBA

(*locations are selected based on where the majority of the participants reside – so please register early!)


October 15 is the deadline to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for any courses taken during either the summer and/or the fall semesters of 2019. The 2019 application forms and instructions are now available to download from the link above.

October 15 is the deadline to apply for the annual Special Scholarships for courses taken during 2019 – apply online from the link above


Ordained and Commissioned Ministers (except retirees) are to annually report Continuing Education Units (CEUs) acquired during each year.  Check the link above for information on CEUs, the report form and a list of examples of many different types of life-long learning that can be applied as CEUs.
Note:  For those who attended the fall Minister’s Conferences, add 6 hours of CEU credit when you send in your annual CEU report. 


Caistor Centre FMC, Caistor Centre, ON
Hampton FMC, Saskatoon, SK
Madoc Wesleyan/FMC, Madoc, ON

Church Profiles available
Contact Susan DePlanché  in the  Leadership Development Office to request a church profile – [email protected] or 289-228-1225 (deadline to apply in brackets)
New Horizons Community Church – Sarnia, ON (June 11, 2019)


Preparing Profiles

(If you are interested in seeing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Susan in the Leadership Development Office [[email protected] or 289-228-1225] and the profile will be emailed to you as soon as it becomes available.)

Athens FMC, Athens, ON (Angel Valentin-Transition Pastor)
Crossroads FMC, Salmon Arm, BC (Vern Frudd – Interim Pastor)
Queensway FMC, Niagara Falls, ON
Richmond Hill Chinese & English FM Churches, Richmond Hill, ON (Abbs So and Shadow Lau-Interim Co-Pastors)
Smiths Falls FMC, Smiths Falls, ON (Vic Stonehouse)

Part-Time Office Administrator – Westdale Park FM Church
Summer Intern – Wawota FM Church
Children’s Ministry Director – Barrie FM Church
Intern Job Position – Maple Grove Christian Retreat Centre
Youth Pastor – Malvern Methodist