New address: 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1409.
From “The Committee On Ministry (COM) Model” by Rev. Robert T. Latham
Why is there need for a special PR committee to manage the relationship between the minister and the congregation? Does the existence of such a committee imply an inherent problem in the relationship that seems to denigrate both the capacity and stature of professionalism as well as congregational integrity? Is there a subtle implication that there is an inability on the part of the minister to empower her/his congregational relationship with inspiration, persuasion, and transformation—that the professional may not be able to be professional without an internal lay support committee?
While the COM often deals with issues of conflict this is not its primary function. Its primary function is to do all that is necessary to elevate the effectiveness of the congregation’s ministry in fulfillment of its mission and to do so from the standpoint of this ministry’s holistic nature and synergistic possibilities. However, an effective COM will significantly reduce the level of negative conflict by keeping the congregation’s eye on fulfilling its mission through it’s ministry. If it is appropriately assertive it will also deal effectively with issues of consequence before they snowball into congregation-wide conflict.
What is best for the whole is best for the part.
This means that the only function of the part is to enhance the power of the whole. This power enhancement returns to the part as visible benefit.
Whether a congregation employees a minister or not it must look to how well it is fulfilling its mission through its ministry. Thus, it will benefit from a COM which will perform exactly the same service as it would in a congregation that has professional leadership. The COM exists for the sake of the congregation’s mission and ministry to the world, irrespective of its structure of leadership. It is the congregation’s committee not the leadership’s committee.
In this respect, the congregation without professional leadership will profit immeasurably from the service of a strong COM which would serve as a constant reminder of the mission for which it exists and a touchstone for effective ministry fulfillment.
The answer to the question is that it makes no difference the kind of leadership a congregation employs, the COM is about fulfillment of its mission through its ministry and is, therefore, deeply relevant to the oversight of potential success.
The congregation owns its mission and ministry irrespective of the nature or structure of its leadership.
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Last updated on Monday, August 19, 2013.
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