Pastor’s Note – November 7, 2019

Schweitzer UMCPastor's Note

Friends,

Starting two weeks ago and over the next few Pastor’s Notes, I want to spend some time talking about how our church operates. I’ve had a lot of people ask me questions about things like: how does the church make decisions, what does the Board do, who is on the Board, how is the Board selected, etc.

You can read the last two week’s note here.

Since we spent the last two weeks talking about the Board, let’s talk today about how everyday decisions are made at Schweitzer Church.

As I shared in the last few notes about the Board, the everyday decisions of the church are delegated to our staff. The Board delegates the leadership of the staff to me as the Lead Pastor, and I work closely with our Executive Pastor, Jason Leininger, and our Chief Operating Officer, Mary Decker.

Much of the coordination of the staff happens through our “teams.” We have five staff teams: Worship, Communication, Discipleship, Administration, and Drive (which is management). Staff sit on various teams based on their responsibilities. Many day-to-day decisions are made collaboratively with others through our teams.

I’ll give you a practical example of how a team might make a decision. In September, the Worship Team was talking about the placement of the offering in the modern worship services and making sure people had enough time to fill out their connection cards. We were spending a lot of time each week talking about the offering and the connection cards. Through a series of group conversations, we decided together that we should do an experiment to see if there was another way to collect the connection cards. One of the team members found an inexpensive option for collecting the connection cards in the black boxes we’ve been using. We decided to do this for one month and then evaluate. To evaluate we looked at the comments we got on the connection cards and the number of connection cards we received. At the end of October, we decided together this was a good approach. Some people then got to work to find more permanent (and better looking) solutions to collect the connection cards.

I use that example to show a few things.

One, it is the culture of Schweitzer Church to work collaboratively. Our staff are connected to one another, and we work hard to reduce silos. Very few decisions are made in isolation.

Two, we value feedback. You are always welcome to express your thoughts to us. We don’t entertain anonymous feedback, but we always want to hear from the congregation. If you have feedback you would like to provide, the staff are a great place to start.

Next week in the Pastor’s Note we’ll explore the budget.

I can’t wait to see you Sunday!

Spencer