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First Baptist Church | Worship Services
Sundays | 8:30 & 10:45 AM

A Structure to Support the Ministry

A church on mission is a lot like a body in motion. We accomplish the mission of God as we work together, armed with the Word and energized by the Spirit. But our body needs a structure, a skeleton that holds everything in place and ensures the most effective movement possible. This structure is a mixture of policy, bylaws, and the leadership in place.

This structure or skeleton is supposed to serve two purposes for a church. The 1st purpose is to conserve the truth and grace of God that actually produces the life-change we will happen in the lives of those around us. Consider how a knee only bends one way; that’s on purpose and by design. If a knee would bend in more than one direction, you’d have a pretty inefficient walker or runner.

The church of Jesus Christ needs to conserve many things to remain effective in a changing culture. It needs to conserve the truth of scripture, holy living and necessary accountability among other things. If we threw these things away, we’d lose our ability to be effective servants of Jesus.

The 2nd purpose of structure is to enable effective movement. Imagine, again, your knee: imagine if it wouldn’t bend at all. Or imagine it only bending 10 degrees. Such limitations would significantly hamper movement. It’s the same with church structure. If a church structure is too rigid, unnecessarily cumbersome, nothing will happen.

So, church structure should balance these two important functions: properly conserving essential content and values while also encouraging and enabling effective ministry.

At the FBC annual meeting, the Board of Deacons presented proposed constitution and bylaw changes to the membership. I just summed up above the basic goal of these changes. After spending most of 2016 discussing, debating and coming to our recommendations, the Board asked a handful of FBCers to review the recommendations and provide feedback. Such feedback was helpful and confirming. We were encouraged to proceed as planned.

We are having a Listening Session on Sunday, March 5 at 6:30 PM to explain in greater detail why we are recommending the changes we are. If you have questions or comments, please come. We’d love to hear from you and I’d encourage you to learn from the board.

Like we’ve done with previous projects (i.e. Reaching Beyond) we want to make sure we are making these changes together. There’s no rush to make these changes and we are happy to make edits if need be.  If you have further questions or comments, please contact us.  

Pastor Brian Wipf