A Special Covenant Member’s Meeting to be held immediately following the Sunday morning service on June 2, 2019. The meeting will be held between the conclusion of the morning service and our Simple Feast. The agenda for this meeting is to seek a majority vote of the Covenant Members to amend our church’s Constitution and Bylaws. Regular attenders are welcome to attend.
In the fall of 2018, several leaders within The Gateway Church participated in a multi-week strategic planning process facilitated by our interim Lead Pastor, Tom Clegg. Utilizing the StratOp Process (a professional strategic planning tool), Tom artfully led us through a process designed to capture where we have been as a church and help us articulate where we plan to go in our future, including the selection of a new Lead Pastor. Coming out of this process, we identified several key initiatives intended to address our church’s overall health and attractiveness to a new Lead Pastor when the time comes to begin the search process. One of our core strategies was to revisit and revise our The Gateway Church, Inc. Constitution and Bylaws.
Shortly after the StratOp process was completed, the Board appointed a Governance Committee to review and recommend changes of the bylaws to the Board of Stewardship and Elders. After many weeks of research (how other churches are structured), Bible study (what does the Bible say about church leadership), prayer (how is the Holy Spirit leading us), and deliberations (working it out in community), the bylaws have been drafted, affirmed by the Board of Stewardship and Elders, and are ready for member approval. Along with the bylaws changes, we are also proposing an update to The Gateway Church, Inc. Articles of Incorporation.
Why do we need to revise our bylaws?
As the StratOp process validated, the current bylaws create an unnecessarily complex, yet vague organizational structure. Combining aspects of a Presidential (authoritarian/entrepreneurial) and Team-Ministry model, the current model worked well for a start-up church. As a result, certain roles, as outlined in the current bylaws, rely on outside individuals not familiar to the Gateway family (Overseers) for church authority and pastoral discipline. Further, most authority lies with the Lead Pastor with little accountability to the two Boards (BOS and Elders).
What is the main change in the new bylaws?
The Governance Committee and, ultimately, the Board of Stewardship and Elders, believe that the healthiest and most biblical model for church leadership is a Team Ministry model. There are many reason for this. Team Ministry allows for contributions of various gifts and sharing of wisdom. A Team Ministry structure allows for mutuality, that is, a context where interaction among leaders, blending ideas and giftings, allows for a base of unity. Finally, a Team Ministry approach allows for representation within the church.
Additional changes include the following:
One Board of Elders. As opposed to a Board of Stewardship, Board of Elders, and a Board of Overseers, we will operate as one Board of Elders (biblical definition). Each of our current BOS members and Elders will serve on our Board of Elders with staggered terms.
The Lead Pastor will be an Elder, as opposed to the Lead Elder and corporation President. The Team Ministry model we are adopting will allow for a collaborative leadership model.
Lead Pastor accountability will no longer be part of our bylaws. Rather, the Lead Pastor’s employment contract will contain details about accountability, staff responsibilities, and discipline.
The new bylaws introduce the role of the deacon as one who serves at the request of the Board of Elders.
If you’d like a copy of the documents we’ll be reviewing/voting on, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org