(Please see the survey link at the end of this article.)
At yesterday’s all church meeting, we discussed the possibility of moving our Chapel Hill administrative leadership structure to an alternative structure known as a single board model. In a single board model, the Church Council, Committee on Finance, Board of Trustees, and the Staff-Parish Relations Committee are joined into a single board to handle the administrative business of the church. This is a move allowed by Paragraph 427 in our United Methodist Book of Discipline, which empowers local churches to adopt an alternative leadership structure with the approval of the district superintendent. While there are numerous reasons churches adopt alternative structures, there are three main reasons CHUMC would adopt a single board model as its alternative structure.
First, the current structure requires appointing 36 lay people to the administrative committees of the church. We currently have nine open spots on these committees and several people serving on multiple committees in addition to their participation in the ministries of CHUMC. These spots become increasingly difficult to fill in declining churches. The single board can be almost any size a local church might choose, but the Church Council is recommending either a 9-person or 12-person board with three equal sized classes so that three or four people roll off the board each year. This will make filling our leadership positions a much simpler process.
Second, the single board model allows for much more efficient decision making. We would no longer need multiple meetings to make decisions meaning CHUMC could be much more nimble and adaptable to our ever changing needs and community.
Third, with less time spent in administrative meetings and fewer people needed on administrative committees, our members and non-member participants can focus more energy on ministry and fulfilling our mission of making disciples for the transformation of the world. This is often one of the ingredients that help declining churches reverse the trend and reach new people.
To maintain oversight and accountability, the single board would adopt and/or continue existing policies and bylaws which would provide guidelines to any team doing the work of CHUMC. The clearest example of this might be a building and maintenance team knowing the types of repairs that can be made and how much can be spent without the approval of the single board.
The one administrative committee that would not be a part of the single board is the Committee on Nominations and Leadership Development. This would remain a separate committee with similarly rotating leadership. This would serve to prevent the single board from becoming self-perpetuating and simply appointing its members to leadership over and over again. This ensures leadership is shared as widely as possible as leadership continues to rotate on and off the board each year.
This is a summary of what we discussed in our all church meeting. If you were unable to attend and you are an active or involuntarily absent part of our CHUMC family and would like to give your feedback, please use the following link to respond by Friday, August 20:
Grace and peace,
Rev. J.D. Allen
Pastor’s Message: August 16, 2021