Taking the mystery out of the Leadership Team

leadershipBy Mary M. Rall
Community Covenant Church

There are eight people serving among the congregation of Community Covenant Church whose activities may be mysterious to some.

They meet monthly during the dark of night, unless it’s a summer of evening, and discuss matters of significance for the church around long, plastic tables.

Sometimes, there are cookies.

They are the few, the humble, the Leadership Team.

Comprised of team Chair Larry Wood, Vice-chair Kym Van Arsdale, Treasurer Curt Lindner, Secretary Sarah Pace and members Kevin Halvorsen, Kim Cannamore, Megan Lang and Brian Heagy, the Leadership Team helps meet the spiritual needs of the congregation and the business affairs of the church.

“The most important observation about the church is that it’s not a building. It’s a group of people who have come together to share communion and love and devotion to the Lord,” Wood said, noting there are legal, business and operational aspects of CCC’s building the team often addresses as well.

“All those systems require someone to be involved and to see that we have not only this important spiritual aspect of being taken care, but we also have a facility that people feel comfortable in, that’s welcoming, that the lights are always on,” he said.

Lang said the Leadership Team addresses matters as they apply to the life of the church and what the congregation’s needs may be at any given time.

“As the landscape changes a little bit, I think that’s one of the benefits of the Leadership Team is that it can be a little bit flexible,” she said. “It’s just another group of people besides the staff that are taking care of the day-to-day stuff.”

The team works cooperatively with CCC’s pastors and staff to meet a variety of different needs within the church, and Wood said the team members have Nominating, Pastoral Relations, Human Relations and Policies and Insurance sub-committees they serve on as well to help address more specific ministry needs.

“The Leadership Team concept has evolved over the years through a model the Covenant Church has developed as a way we provide leadership without getting in the way of the work that’s being done on the ground,” he said. “The idea is to get people to step up and get involved in ministry, support them and encourage them. God’s going to provide the leading, and we’re there to empower, not to interfere.”

All team members also act as liaisons for areas of ministry as well, Lang said, to help the team better understand what’s happening within CCC’s many ministries and to determine if there’re greater needs that exist that the team may be able to help meet.

“That way we can make better decisions,” she said, explaining the Leadership Team wants to help ministries to continue to move forward, rather than attempt to micromanage them.

“We’ll be involved with broader policy discussions of what type of ministries we are going to have and what new ministry teams are going to look like,” Wood affirmed. “The ministry teams and the ministry team leaders have to be empowered under the senior pastor and his staff to go out and do ministry. So, we don’t want to get in the way of that.”

According to Lang, team members serve on the team for two years and can serve up two consecutive terms, for a total of four years. Lang is currently the Care Ministry liaison and on the Human Relations Committee and has been serving on the team for less than a year.

“I like organization,” Lang said with a laugh when asked why she joined the team. “I have a degree in communications, and I like small groups. I like small group processes. I like to think on ideas and principles. I think that’s just one of the ways that God’s created me, and so when there’s an opportunity to serve, I’m kind of drawn to those types of opportunities.”

Wood said team members do have to go through a nomination process to be on the team, but any member of CCC is encouraged to express their interest in participating.

“If there are people who’re feeling led to get involved in lay leadership, all they need to do is contact myself or someone on our staff,” he said. “The Nominating Committee goes to work in the springtime, because we normally have vacancies once a year.”

Wood serves on the Nominating Committee and as the Children’s Ministry liaison and is nearing the end of his second term on the Leadership Team. He said the experience of being on the team has helped him learn more about the Covenant denomination, as well as the many ministries at Community Covenant.

“I would really encourage people to get involved in lay leadership for that reason too, because you get to see the type of talent God’s brought into one place, be they lay leaders or pastoral leaders, and all the people who make our church life happen,” Wood said.

The semi-annual meeting will be June 14 and will present an opportunity for people to remain informed on the decisions the Leadership Team is making as well, Wood said, and will give church members an opportunity to vote for new Leadership Team members.

“These are other opportunities to see and hear from the Leadership Team and the pastors and find out not only some of the business and financial affairs of the church, but more importantly, our ministries and what God has been doing and some of the stories about them,” he said. “Even if they’re not members, we strongly, strongly encourage them to come to those meetings and ask questions and find out how they can get plugged in.”

For more information on how to become involved with the Leadership Team, email Larry Wood at ldwood1225@gci.net.