CliffsNotes – May 21, 2019

Who evaluates the Board? Part 2

Great question, but we began answering it last week. The board in a healthy church is elected to prayerfully ask 3 important questions:

  1. Do we have the right vision?
  2. Do we have the right people on the bus?
  3. Are we financially healthy (“The goal is not a balanced budget, but a budget that delivers the mission… budget is a means, not an end. The end, of course, is the mission.” Gordon Smith, Institutional Intelligence, p.132-133, 2017.

Part 2 in this series about healthy boards is about the election of healthy boards – actually it is about the healthy election process. I’m asking if your church leadership has read The Manual and has carefully mapped out a healthy process?

Nominating Committee is an elected group who is only responsible to prayerfully find Board members each year. In the past Nominating Committee was responsible for board members AND ministry leadership positions. Nominating Committee will ask you for suggestions for Board members (usually in September as many of us have annual meetings in January or February). They will contact each person that you suggest and invite them to be interviewed for the Board position. References checked and much prayer later, Nominating Committee will bring forward a slate (with the exact number of vacancies) in January. They will post for three consecutive weeks, the Board candidates’ pictures and invite you to meet the candidates, and if there is any reason the candidate is not suitable for the position, in your opinion, then you have the responsibility to follow Matthew 18:15-17. In this way, you the society will have prayerfully processed each new Board member!

Three questions about Nominating Committee:

  1. Should the pastor be on the committee / team?
  2. Shouldn’t committee present more candidates then vacancies so that the membership gets to choose?
  3. Should we still exercise the right to nominate from the floor during an annual society / membership meeting?


  1. In my opinion yes and then no! Yes the pastor should help the committee begin to do their job. It may take a couple of years for the committee to work out some philosophical, habitual, or logistical bugs. But once the committee is “working” the pastor can melt into the congregation and TRUST God and the committee. If the structure is in place then three things should help the pastor trust: a) every potential board candidate should be interviewed and at least one reference should be from the / a pastor on staff (even in a small church candidates should be interviewed); b) candidates’ pictures posted for 3 weeks so that if the pastor does have an issue with the candidate, the pastor can process this concern the Matthew 18 way just like everyone else; c) even board members who have been on the board, but whose first term is up should be interviewed – this is an accountability opportunity to affirm good work, or discuss growth areas, or not affirm people back on to the board.
  2. We are not a democracy. We are a church family who is learning to trust one another in their gifts and responsibilities. This is true in a small church too! Do a good job at society meetings in electing a healthy Nominating Committee. Pastor and Board is responsible to make sure that they know their jobs and follow the steps. Then everyone should step back, PRAY, and allow them to do their job. Presenting more candidates then vacancies could lead to bad feelings, bad optics or a popularity contest rather than a prayerful process including interviews, references and a committee decision.
  3. Where is the fasting and prayer opportunity in that? In a healthy nominating process the potential candidates, their small group and families all have had the opportunity to pray. The Nominating Committee is praying. And then for 3 weeks prior to the society meeting the whole church is praying with and meeting with these candidates. Requiring the Nominating Committee to offer more candidates than vacancies could be like saying: I don’t trust your process, prayers, or system – I trust myself to make the right decision.

There is room within the FMCiC Manual to develop a contextually healthy Nominating process. Please understand the principles outlined in our Manual. Ask good questions about accountability, prayerful discernment, job description, process and healthy structure.  If God’s vision for you is to be a church of 20 people until He returns then Nominating Committee is not an important question. If however your sanctified hope is that God would lead people into your church family, so that you would grow in numbers, then start now in developing healthy structures. Regional Coaches can help.

I am in Ireland. I was invited to be a part of “Leadership Reconciliation Tour” in Northern Ireland. I want to learn everything God wants to teach me about reconciliation, and I was offered an all-expense trip to Ireland! It was an easy decision to participate!

2019 REGIONAL GATHERINGS 2019 Regional Gathering Locations and Dates – PDF
Regional Gatherings are all about connecting! Our intention is to see Free Methodist leader and lay people meeting together as a movement for both an “informative” and “formative” gathering.  We hope to see you there!


Church Health Thursdays – Nothing Beats a Good Story: New
News & Stories Blog – Who’s Reading What in 2019 – John-Mark Cockram: New
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:


The Turquoise Table

Rev. A. Ross Kingston – Lead Pastor at Odessa FMC, Odessa, ON – transferred as Ordained Minister into The Free Methodist Church in Canada, effective May 14


Ordination and Commissioning Services 

Belinda Leibel – Commissioning Service at Northview Community Church, Regina, SK – date and time TBA


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:
May 31-June 2, 2019 – Peterborough FM Church, Peterborough ON
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:
May 31-June 2, 2019 – Weyburn  Free Methodist Church, Weyburn, SK
October 25-27, 2019 – Ontario-location TBA*
(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

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)

Madoc Wesleyan/FMC, Madoc, ON (May 21, 2019)
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