There have been several questions raised in our discussions about some changes that are going on in our church so I thought I would try to answer these questions for everyone.
First, some have raised a concern about any changes that might be made in our commonly held doctrine. Along with that question is another that states, "Will our new Constitution and By-laws contain any changes in our beliefs at BMBC?" As your current Interim Pastor I can state with firm conviction that I would not recommend or approve of any doctrinal changes in what we now hold as an MB Church and I believe your Church Council holds this same conviction. As a member church of the U.S. Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Churches, we hold to the Confession of Faith of the USMB.
Having said that, I do need to make sure that any candidate that is considering becoming your next pastor be vetted carefully and prayerfully on life, doctrine and ministry. I will advise the Pastor Search Committee to request applicants who are being seriously considered submit to BMBC their personal doctrinal statement for church-wide consideration. Make sure you know where he stands. He will also need to be examined on doctrine and fit with the USMB by the District Faith and Life Committee and that's expected for all candidates at MB Churches. These safeguards are very important.
A second question and concern is will our proposed By-laws contain details for ministry by our different ministry teams and leaders? Let me answer that by saying the new By-laws will not go into detail on every aspect of administration and leadership but will paint the broad brush-strokes of leadership. Here's how the different guiding documents of our church will work.
The Constitution is the big-picture of what our church is and what it does. Below the "umbrella" of the Constitution comes the By-laws. This document, which is a little longer that our new, short Constitution, will guide our church in how the major ministries of our church do ministry. If the Constitution is a view of our church from the 35,000-foot level, the By-laws look at our church from the 10,000-foot level. Just enough information will be given to see how the ministries of our church begin to work together to accomplish our church Mission. The Constitution and By-laws are changed or amended only by the membership acting as a governing body.
The By-laws will have enough information to guide each ministry and leader on the "street-level" in developing policies and procedures to make our church work well and work together. As a further help, each ministry leader will develop or follow a ministry-specific Job Description. The final level of guidance will be given by our different ministry teams who will set goals and evaluate progress and growth for their ministry. This is kitchen table work.
To ensure that our church is running and serving well for the glory of God, the Church Council (of Team of Elders if approved) will approve all policies and Job Descriptions.
Please continue to raise questions, positive comments and concerns. That is needed.
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