Riverside's Leadership (Elder) Covenant

Below is the Leadership Covenant that we developed for Riverside Christian ChurchVery little is original.  It's a collection from many different sources.  It was a long time coming, but I think it will definitely improve the leadership at our church through them knowing their expectations.  "Leader" is synonymous with "Elder" at Riverside.


RIVERSIDE CHRISTIAN CHURCH'S LEADER COVENANT


GROWING IN PERSONAL DISCIPLESHIP

  • Develops a real, authentic relationship with God through a daily time of prayer and Bible study.
  • Regularly attends the weekly worship gathering at least 39 times every year.
  • Models the life of Jesus in his daily life and shares the gospel regularly.
  • Ministers to their own families.
  • Tithes to the ministry at Riverside.


CARING FOR THE CONGREGATION

  • Mentors people in the congregation.
  • Participates in the leadership calling program so that everyone in the church is contacted once a month.
  • Visits people who are homebound or hospitalized.
  • Discipline members who are out of step with the congregation or straying morally in their personal lives.


LEADING THE CHURCH IN ITS MISSION
  • Agrees with and actively supports Riverside's vision to love one another, love Jesus, and love all.
  • Agrees with Riverside's Statement of Beliefs and Statement of Convictions.
  • Participates in leadership meetings that serve as the primary forum to discuss and give input on key policy and strategic decisions.
  • Leads the congregation in discerning what God is calling the congregation to be and do.
  • Helps the congregation stay focused on its mission.
  • Leads the congregation through change in order to be more effective in its mission.
  • Actively participates in mission and outreach ministries according to their gifts and available time.
  • Teaches in different capacities throughout the church.


SUPPORTING AND ENCOURAGING ONE ANOTHER
  • Attends leader's meeting when scheduled for training, sharing, and prayer.
  • Goes on the annual leadership retreat for spiritual renewal and team building.
  • Prays daily for the other leaders, the minister(s), and ministry heads.
  • Involved in a weekly accountability relationship with another leader in the church.


FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Serves in reviewing monthly financial statements
  • Approves yearly budget
  • Approves individual expenses over $5,000.


ROLE TO THE LEAD PASTOR, STAFF, AND MINISTRY TEAM LEADERS

  • Serves under the lead pastor and receives training and guidance from him.
  • Holds the lead pastor accountable.
  • Supports the lead pastor in holding all other ministry team leaders accountable. It is not the responsibility of the leaders to discipline ministry leaders for their mistakes, pitfalls, or perceived failures in ministry. Ministry leaders are under the lead pastor and answerable to him.
  • Encourages all of the people actively involved in ministry in the church.
  • Serves as the primary transitional team overseeing the process of replacing the lead pastor should the need arise.

I, _______________________________________, am willing to serve as an active member of Riverside's Leadership Team per the requirements and responsibilities outlined above. I understand that this is a one-year commitment and I can be removed at any time through the decision of the other leaders. I will invest at least ten hours into my spiritual growth and the church every week.

___________________________________                            __________

Signature                                                                                                  Date

Don't Be Done With Church, Be The Church




As I sit here, snowed in on once again on a Sunday morning, I ponder the many Facebook status updates of friends, little passing comments heard in conversations over the years, and the general zeitgeist of people in America. It seems like a lot of people are following Jesus and are done with church. It's kind of a growing trend. It's almost hip to follow Jesus yet not go to church.

If you're considering that route, I hope to encourage you to not turn your back on the church. If you have already chosen that route, I hope you would reconsider.

Being "done with church" won't bring Jesus to our world. The reason is because Jesus chose for the church to be the vessel through which His work would be done in this world after He ascended into heaven. To make this theological concept brief, Jesus came to establish the church. Up until Jesus, the kingdom of God was the nation of Israel. Through Jesus, the kingdom transitioned from being people who were identified by an ethnicity and border to being a people of all ethnicities, nationalities, and locales.

There is something to be said about community. Community isn't easy, though. I understand that. It takes work. Oftentimes, we just think that work isn't worth the effort, that the frustrations caused by the idiots around us just isn't worth enduring for the value that community brings.

In community, we grow. We are stretched and fed by the thoughts and actions of others. True, sometimes we are offered drivel that we just want to reject. But if we refuse to be arrogant and honestly look back at our lives, our personal growth came through the challenges of others. Removing ourselves from community removes ourselves from a great potential of growth. We stagnate outside of community.

In community, we serve. A healthy church provides a variety of service opportunities inside and springing out from the church. True, you can choose to not be part of a church and use the ministries of the church. They will gladly let you serve through them, using them as a buffet where you can just pick and choose the service opportunities that you like. However, we are called to something greater than that. We are called to create opportunities to serve. We are continually challenged to serve in community.

In community, we have to work with others and work through our disagreements. This is actually a positive thing. As we work together, we grow together. As we grow together, we become one. As George S. Patton said, "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." Of course, there will be disagreements and headaches. But we need to change our perspective and view them as a good thing. Together, we meld into something better, through our disagreements, than we would be if we were left alone.

In community, there is permanence. It provides a place for people to connect with other like-minded people. It provides a lasting group of people in a locale that will be there long after we are gone, whether that is from our moving or our death. The time invested in creating and being a group of people is a lasting investment.

In community, movements happen. Movements don't happen from individuals. When we look at history, we like to imagine the great leader doing great things. But if you look closely at any great leader, you will see a group of people making the vision that they share with the leader happen. The leader that we recognize just becomes the face of the movement. The true movement is all of the people who are working toward the same goal that the leader is working toward. Movements don't happen when we choose to be done assembling in community with others. Gathering together is necessary for movements to change this world.

I'll be honest. There have been many times that I have wanted to be done with church too. People are often a frustration. I have a low tolerance threshold for things that I consider stupid. Drama is ridiculous. I don't like people making big deals out of little things. The mission of the church sometimes gets muddled. The passion gets polluted. And Jesus gets lost. Or, more likely, just ignored because Jesus doesn't get lost. He's in the finding business.

Instead of being "done with church", I would love for you to be involved in creating a better local church. Assemble likeminded people together and start a church. You don't even have to call it "church" if that is a taboo word. Instead, call it a gathering or whatever you want. Church at its essence is just a group of people in relationship with one another while being in relationship with God through the grace of Jesus. The world desperately needs followers of Jesus gathering together to make an impact on their communities, regions, and around the globe.

If you want to grow, serve, and be part of a movement that will be greater after you are gone, then you must church. It's easy to attack and leave the church you don't like; it's much harder to listen to God and be involved in creating something beautiful. Don't choose the easy route. Don't be done with church. Be the church. The world needs it. You need it.  

One last note. If you don't think the community of believers that you are part of helps you grow, serve, and create a movement that will last after you are going, try to nudge that one in that direction. Make sure that you are being guided by God and not your own personal opinions. Ask yourself what you can do to make the change you want happen. Avoid asking what others need to do to make it happen. And if you feel that the cause is hopeless in your current community of believers, find a community of believers that will work with you to make that happen. Don't give up on church. Create or find that church. And be the church your heart feels the world needs.

Martin Luther King Jr. asking Is the Church the Hope of the World?



Is the Church the Hope of the World?
by Martin Luther King Jr.

It is a common saying in religious circles that the church is the hope of the world. This question inevitably leads the objective mind to a bit of doubt. He immediately asks, "How can the church be the hope of the world when it is the most reactionary institution in society?" In other words, the church is suppose to be the most radical opposer of the status quo in society, yet, in many instances, it is the greatest preserver of the status quo. So it was easy for slavery to receive a religious sanction. The church is one of the chief exponents of racial bigotry. Monopoly capitalism has always received the sanction of the church.

Since this is the case, we must admit that the church is far from Christ. What has happened is this: The church, while flowing through the stream of history has picked up the evils of little tributaries, and these tributaries have been so powerful that they have been able to overwhelm the main stream. In other words, the church has picked up a lot of historical vices. This is the tragedy of the church, for it has confused the vices of the church with the virtues of Christ. The church has been nothing but the slave of society. Whenever the mores call for evil practices, society runs to the church to get its sanction.

Therefore, I conclude that the church, in its present state, is not the hope of the world. I believe that nothing has so persistently and effectively blocked the way of salvation as the church. On the other hand, the church can be the hope of the world, but only when it returns to Christ. If we take Christ to the world, we will turn it upside down, but the tragedy is that we too often take Christianity. It is our job as minister to bring the church back to the center of the human race. But we can only bring the church back to the center of the human race when we bring Christ back to the center of the church.

Source: http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/primarydocuments/Vol6/14Sept1948-15Feb1950IstheChurchtheHopeoftheWorld.pdf , February 27, 2015, AHDS CSKC Sermon file, folder 36, “Sermon Notes”.