- Our Current Council Members
At present, our church council consists of: Don Bayer, Sue Bayer, David Fritz, Methel Gale, Hubert Gibbons, Julie Madsen, Dan Monahan, Laura Watt and Donna White.
- What is the Church Council?
The Council is the leadership body of the congregation. Each member of the Council is called and ordained by God through the Spirit-led prayer and discernment of the congregation. The Council meets often (along with the minister) to talk and pray; additionally, council members regularly share in pastoral and administrative tasks that they do outside of council meetings.
- Here are some examples of what the Council does:
- The Council helps the congregation keep our eyes on Jesus as we follow him together, encouraging us to grow in faith, hope, and love by their example, their teaching, and their friendships with church members;
- The Council seeks God’s will for this congregation in prayer, study, and discussion.
- The Council listens to the suggestions and requests of church members;
- The Council communicates what they learn about God’s will for this congregation;
- The Council prays for all people, but especially the sick, broken, lonely, and hurting families and individuals in our church;
- The Council cares for church members by listening, advising, encouraging, cooking, driving, or giving other help to those who are in need;
- The Council guides the ministers to nurture the members of the church so that all may grow in their relationship with God;
- The Council encourages the church to look beyond itself to the physical and spiritual needs of a world that longs for God’s Good News; and
- The Council invites church members to join them in prayer and work so that the church may grow together into maturity as the body of Christ.
The Council is confirmed and upheld in their ministry of servant-leadership by the ongoing prayers and support of the entire congregation.
- Who can be on the Church Council?
When Jesus’ first followers chose leaders, they looked for people who were gifted by God to do this important job. Some of the gifts they looked for had to do with the character of a person, such as faithfulness, generosity, humility, hospitality, and common sense.
Other gifts had more to do with the respect a person would command, both from those inside the church and non-Christians. Was the person’s family life in order? Was the person’s own life a testimony to God’s grace and purity?
Of all the gifts that early church leaders needed, however, one stands out as far more essential than all the rest. Jesus himself taught his followers to look for leaders who were, first and foremost, servants. This was surprising to them, as it is to us: leaders are usually the ones giving orders, not doing the work.
But Jesus said, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be servant of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:42-45).
In the early church, people who had these gifts from the Spirit and came to be leaders were often called “elders.” Elders, or “older folks,” were usually more mature, personally and spiritually, and therefore commanded respect from Christians and non Christians alike. They might also be called “shepherds” keeping watch over the “sheep,” so named after one of Jesus’ favorite metaphors for himself and his followers. A few times early church leaders were called “bishops,” which connotes an office in the church that would be filled by a person with the gifts just discussed.
To read more about leadership in the early church, look at these scriptures:
- Matthew 9:36-38 (Jesus’ followers need leadership)
- Matthew 20:24-28, Mark 10:42-45 (good leaders are “slaves of all”)
- Matthew 23:1-11 (Jesus points out bad leadership)
- John 21:15-17 (Jesus passes-on the role of shepherd)
- Acts 15:1-31 (an example of church leaders at work)
- Romans 16:1-15 (an inspiring list of church leaders Paul knew)
- 1 Corinthians 16:15-18 (those who serve receive recognition)
- Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:7-10, Ephesians 4:11-13 (God gives gifts for leadership)
- 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (leaders are respected for their labor)
- 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9. Titus 2:1-5 (leaders should have good character, strong families, be able to teach others how to follow Jesus, and be respected by outsiders)
- James 5:15 (leaders should pray for the sick)
- 1 Peter 5:1-5 (leaders should be gentle shepherds for the sheep)
In choosing people to serve on the church Council, members of the congregation are asked to study scriptures, pray for wisdom, and discern by the Spirit who is gifted for leadership. One important thing to look for in a leader is that person’s record of service. Does this person already serve the church in the ways that shepherds should, whether or not they are on the Council? If so, they probably have the gifts of the Spirit for leadership and should be recognized and respected for their service.