The purpose of the church council is to plan a program of nurture, outreach, and witness; implement the plan; provide an administrative infrastructure; align the plan with the mission of the church and evaluate the effectiveness of the plan.
The church council exists to create and supervise the strategic plan for your local congregation so that the congregation fulfills its mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ. This twofold function includes both leadership and management. Leadership is the visionary, "big picture" work that assesses critically where the congregation is at the present moment, where God is calling it to be in the future, and what resources will be required to move from our current reality into the desired future. Management is the essential "detail work" that must be accomplished on a daily basis to make the congregation effective.
The church council model reflects and continues a historic tradition within the Church. Jesus called twelve disciples to be together in the leadership of the early Christian movement (Luke 5:1-11, 27-32; 6:12-16). Following the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, leaders of "the Way" often convened in groups to make decisions and to support each other in the work of mission and disciple- making. Acts 15 describes the Council formed at Jerusalem. Throughout the letters of Paul, especially in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12, leadership in the congregation is described as the shared work of spiritually graced men and women-the body of Christ. A church council is greater than the sum of its parts. Gifted individuals-knit together in faith, love, and commitment and empowered and guided by the Holy Spirit-can accomplish much more than any individual. We honor and glorify God best when we become the body of Christ together.