What’s in a Name?
We have changed the name of the team that gives primary, overall leadership to our church. Up until now we have been called by the humdrum name, “Managing Elders,” and, admittedly, our new name —“Governing Elders”—comes no closer to winning an Academy Award. So, why are we making the change?
As innocuous as the change seems, it actually represents a significant shift in what we want to say about ourselves. That is because there is a big difference between managing and governing.
In the context of the church, our staff and ministry leaders manage things. That is, they give hands on leadership to our ministries, overseeing and coordinating them. It was never the intention that the “Managing Elders” would do this, so the name does not fit our purpose.
Governors, on the other hand, have a much broader role to play, and governing is what the “Managing Elders” were actually always intended to do. Governors in the church have four main functions:
To make sure that the church is being faithful to the Word of God and the call of Jesus Christ.
To insure that the church is pursuing a Biblical vision discerned in obedience to the Holy Spirit, and that all the church’s ministries are aligned with that vision.
To anticipate societal or other developments that will affect the vitality of our church and plan for them.
To make sure that the church is fiscally responsible and does all its financial dealings with integrity.
By making this name change, the Governing Elders are saying that we trust the ministry leaders to play their role. We will let them do what they are called to do without micromanaging them, and we will not get bogged down in our meetings with details these ministry leaders are fully capable of handling.
In essence, by changing our name, we are saying that we are committed to seeing the church to function as the body God made it to be! -Pastor Tom
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