Read the opening article, Q &A with your Ministry Partners, below or click here to download a PDF of the full edition from FPCC’s website.
|Q. Who’s in charge of our church?
A. We all know that Jesus is the head of the Church, but pastors represent Jesus. They provide spiritual guidance and also moderate the Session, implement the church’s vision, provide pastoral care, administer the Sacraments of the Church, and faithfully preach the Word of God.
Under our current arrangement, the ministry team at FPCC is jointly meeting those responsibilities while having accountability to one another and to the Session. The Session, in turn, is accountable to the congregation. Its members (Elders) are elected to their positions by the congregation for three-year terms. The three ministry partners who are Commissioned Lay Pastors (CLPs) are ordained to moderate the Session and administer the Sacraments of Communion and Baptism.
Q. Who do I talk to about my spiritual and personal needs?
A. You may choose to speak to any ministry partner you choose. Feel free to speak to whomever you are most comfortable with. If that person is unavailable, you can either wait for them or bring your matter to another ministry partner.
Q. Why don’t we have an interim pastor instead of a ministry team?
A. Our leadership model was a purposeful choice to make the most of the strengths and talents that we already have and with people that you already know. In addition, it avoids the delays that would be associated with finding an interim pastor. An executor of Presbytery suggested at our April Session meeting utilizing co-equal leaders as an alternative model to an interim pastor. The Session agreed and adopted the model with the intent to evaluate its pros and cons as we go along, and both Session and the ministry team welcomes your feedback.
Q. How is the model working out?
A. The diversity of strengths among the team members provides significant advantages to the church. Like Esther, God has prepared the church and each ministry partner a time such as this. A few years ago, we didn’t have Commissioned Lay Pastors, so this would not have been possible. Our model offers the convenience of always having someone available to serve church members. It also offers the advantage of personality matching and ease of communications. Questions or problems communicated through our joint email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) ensures a timely response by one of the four minister partners.
Darryl McCollum CLP