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This section provides a description of the various committees that will be found in a typical local church.  It also describes a number of alternative organizational models.  The specific organizational structure in your church may be different.  For example, the committees and positions in your church may have different names and job descriptions.  You will probably find that many of the same functions are needed in your organizational structure.

One of the important roles of the church board is to develop the ministry plan of the church.  One of the components of this plan should be an organizational plan, defining, at least in broad terms, the committees and service positions, their roles, and the organizational structure (the reporting structure).  This plan should then be approved by the society.  The organization plan should directly reflect the ministry goals and programs of the church.  As the ministry plan and programs change, the organizational plan may also need to be updated.

¶373.1     Organizational Structure

There are a number of alternative models available for organizing the committees and positions within the local church.

In the representative model, the official board may consist of the chair (who is elected from within the board), the secretary and treasurer, one or more delegates and the chairpersons of the various standing committees of the church.   A number of members-at-large may be added to provide the full board roster.  The chairpersons of the standing committees represent their committees on the board, provide periodic reports or recommendations from their committee and, along with the pastor, communicate board decisions and directions to their committee.

In larger churches, or churches with a larger number of standing committees, the church may wish to organize on a commission model.  Each commission would include a number of committees that have related responsibilities or roles.  One representative from each commission would represent that commission on the board.  This model may help to provide more co-ordination among related committees.  It does however add more hierarchy and possibly bureaucracy to the process.

In another model, a number of the major committees may be formed from the membership of the board.  The board members are elected by the society.  The newly elected board then divides itself into a set of standing sub-committees of the board.  These standing sub-committees will usually be responsible for advising the board on policy and administrative issues that are the direct responsibility of the board (e.g. finances, membership, personnel policies, planning and goal setting).  In this model, other committees, with members from outside the board, may be responsible for the implementation of the ministry programs of the church, under board guidance and direction.

In the governance board model, the official board and committees have totally separate memberships, with the senior pastor, in his/her role as the chief administrator of the local church, providing the communications or liaison role between the board and committees.