We are a large CRC congregation. As such, we have a large "Council" consisting of 35+ "Council" members which makes it difficult to conduct the affairs of the Church in a timely manner (long meetings!).
About 5 years ago we re-organized and separated Council functions into an official "Council" consisting of Elders, Deacons, and the Senior Pastor (approximately 10 members) AND leadership teams consisting of 'Pastoral Elders' and 'Pastoral Deacons'.
The "Council" conducts the day to day affairs of the Church (including preparations of the annual budget, etc.) while the Pastoral functions are the responsibilities of Elders and Deacons elected specifically to address the needs of the congregation. This structure has served us well.
While we have been conducting a reduced schedule of meetings of the 'Council' (2 or 3 per year... which we would like to reduce even more to avoid duplication), most of the decisions made by the "Council" are no longer voted on by ALL of the Elders and Deacons which brings me to my question(s).
- Are we in compliance with Article 35 of the Church Order when we do not have ALL of the Elders and Deacons involved in the day to day decision-making process (including the preparation of the annual budget)? And if we are not, does anyone have any suggestions as to how we can resolve this ambiguity?
- Since the separate entities of 'Council' and "Council" meet regularly but the "Entire Council" does not meet monthly, do we have an issue with the requirements of Article 36 of the Church Order? Again, if we do ... does anyone have any suggestions as to how we can resolve this ambiguity?
I ask these questions as a result of being 'conscripted' to review and re-draft our current Church By-Laws. While I am not currently on our Church Council, I have been a member in the past, and our current "Council" members (as well as myself) would appreciate your thoughts with respect to these concerns.